SRC students team up with Linking Generations to host intergenerational coffee morning

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Southern Regional College

14th Dec 2023

Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year”, to quote a popular Christmas song, and with that, the most precious gift one can give is time.  This year Health and Social Care students at Southern Regional College’s Newry Model campus took a morning away from class to host local community groups, Sunshine Club and U3A with a coffee morning.  Following the success of the event, there are now plans for another coffee morning in March next year.

The event formed part of Linking Generations Northern Ireland’s (LGNI) intergenerational Christmas campaign funded by the Public Health Agency, the coffee morning was a wonderful example of festive spirit and practice in the art of giving.  Young and old generations alike were encouraged to mingle and share stories whilst creating Christmas cards, alongside outbursts of songs made of an impromptu choir of students.

LGNI have been connecting generations and communities across Northern Ireland since 2009 and are the only NI organisation focused solely on developing intergenerational approaches to addressing societal issues. The coffee morning was a perfect example of their vision, as student Charlene Conlon attended the event with her mum Veronica Conlon and 86-year-old nanny Sarah Marian McGlade.

Feedback from the event was positive, with participants praising students for showing an interest in their lives and spending time with them.

Christine McKinney from U3A commented:

Thank you all so much for a very enjoyable morning. So much hard work preparing for it all and such lovely activities and treats. I want to especially thank the students who made it so welcoming and were a delight to talk to. It was great to meet lots of new folk and be treated with so much kindness. Looking forward to an Easter event.

Lynne Bennett from Linking Generations commented:

“It has been great to watch the students put the intergenerational training they received into practice in establishing and developing links with local older persons settings. These interactions help to create joy and a sense of connectedness through meaningful fun activities and conversation.” 

Deirdre Franklin, Health & Science Coordinator at Southern Regional College further commented:

“It has been absolutely fabulous to host this coffee morning on campus. We are delighted to welcome our senior members in the community and give them an opportunity to interact with our students. They have shared their valuable insights and stories with us, and we have learned a lot from them. Events like this help break down intergenerational barriers and foster mutual understanding and respect. We hope to continue this initiative and build stronger bonds between the young and the old.”

For more information on how to get involved in developing intergenerational connections and for inspiration visit www.linkinggenerationsni.com.