Intergenerational connections, often overlooked, are essential for healthy communities. Many children do not have contact with their natural grandparents or older family members because of increased movement, global migration and family breakdown. These phenomena have caused increasing community disconnect, and often leave children without positive relationships with older adults. Intergenerational connections have been shown to help children navigate the challenges of school, peer group acceptance and negative external influences.
Intergenerational connections can be equally beneficial for older adults. Canadians over 50 represent a population with vast potential to make contributions to the volunteer sector. Older adults not only enjoy interacting with children, but many report feeling healthier, being more connected and less lonely. As they make the transition from the workplace to retirement, volunteering can provide opportunities for sharing an abundance of experience, skills and knowledge.
The Volunteer Grandparents philosophy is to help build stronger communities through the facilitation of intergenerational connections.