In Spring 2020, City of Surrey launched Connecting Generations, a program designed to connect seniors and youth in an effort to build strong intergenerational relationships and reduce isolation. Through various initiatives, the program aims to give participants, who range in age from 10 to 55+, an opportunity to learn from one another and engage in dialogue that explore different perspectives. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the project was put on a temporary hold. The City of Surrey staff teams worked towards implementation of a virtual platform model that supports the project objectives, while addressing current situation of physical and social distancing that is potentially creating isolation of seniors.
Most recently in Fall 2020, Connecting Generations participants organized the distribution of 50 food packages to vulnerable seniors and youth. The Connecting Generations sub-project is an opportunity to allow generations to engage in dialogue and to explore differences and similarities between seniors and youth. The project allows for seniors and youth to build strong relationships, learn, educate, and understand perspectives of generations, while reducing isolation.
A collaboration between senior community volunteers and youth in the North Surrey area met bi-weekly using a virtual platform to plan, create, and execute the distribution of the meaningful food packages for vulnerable seniors and youth in Surrey. The planning members itemized the grocery list, meaningful letters to everyone on the receiving end. Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, City of Surrey staff assembled and safely distributed the fifty packages to partnering organizations, who then distributed to participating patrons. The fifty packages were delivered to the Surrey Urban Mission Society, Surrey WRAP Around Program, Elizabeth Fry Society, Pacific Community Resources Society City Centre, and REACH Program, focusing on newcomer and refugee youth. Each organization supports participants that have various ethnic backgrounds, languages, and vulnerable needs.
Seniors and youth planning committee continues to work together to connect with isolated seniors and youth to engage in further discussion on topics and sub-projects to bring generations togethers. The next proposed Connecting Generations sub-project will be focusing on Seniors Stories, hearing their personal life experiences and advice. Stay tuned!
To join the Connecting Generations project, please contact Camilla Daoud, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.598.5708.