How can we connect generations during a lockdown?


We talk about intergenerational environments as being one of the key ways that we can create socially-inclusive communities and combat loneliness. But how can we connect older to younger people in the current climate?

Now more than ever our ability to easily socialise with all ages have been impacted, so could the superhero in all of this be the internet? With a surge in apps such as Houseparty, tech platforms offering video conferencing software, our favourite musicians showcasing live events, online art exhibitions, and even fitness gurus offering virtual workouts – our opportunities to connect have increased in many ways.

We can now get closer to each other virtually, support each other through loneliness, and help to ease the negative feeling with isolation. So, here are some ways we can stay connected during isolation…


Virtual singing groups

According to research, listening to music and singing together directly impacts neurochemicals in the brain that can cause feelings of closeness and connection.

So how about it, singing online with strangers? OK, the idea may not appeal to many – but the opportunity to connect with hundreds of people across the world on a neurochemical level seems too good to miss.

A new addition to the online singing groups comes from The Sofa Singers – a free, weekly singing event that ‘brings hundreds of people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection.’ Interested? The next event is Friday 1st May. So what are you waiting for: click here to join the Zoom call!

Inspired by the Italian street singing we have seen in the news, Lifefullness Live is another virtual choir that promotes a ‘community for everyone’ and offers the opportunity to sing with nearby people. You can feel connected whilst we are all apart. In previous weeks, this singing group even featured celebrity host Rufus Hound!


Befriending calls

Age UK offers Call in Time, a free national service where an older person can have a call with a befriender at an agreed time for a friendly chat. The service matches a volunteer, a befriender, to suit your interests and be there for that regular companionship.

Sometimes we just need to pick up the phone and speak to another human.

If you would like to make a difference to someone’s life register as a caller here.

If you would like a fun, safe and easy way to get to know someone from your living room then sign up to receive calls here.


Exercise groups

Everyone is talking about home workouts. Live ones, garden ones, workouts for kids – even workouts on the radio.

10 today, is an online broadcast designed for older people who want to get stretching and moving in a short 10-minute exercise class. The programme from Sport England features physical activity you can complete at home.

Fancy some real-time action? Check out ‘PE with Joe‘. Having become known as the ‘nation’s PE teacher’, Joe The Body Coach is now running live sessions every day on YouTube at 9am to help give some routine to your day during the lockdown. If this has not persuaded you, then the fact that all profits go to the NHS might! If you do not fancy a live session check out his series of 10-minute workouts for over 50s.

Fancy something a with a bit more nostalgia…? Who remembers Mr Motivator? Returning in bright lycra, 90’s iconic fitness star Derrick Evans is back and live on the BBC with classic workout routines. Check out his sessions every day at 10 am for some upbeat disco tunes and a bit of morning fun!


Online book clubs

Reading. What a great way to past the time. But what if you could join a community online where you could experience meaningful connections with stories, authors and other people of all ages? According to the author, Robert Macfarlane:

Literature has always done such an extraordinary job of provoking community and conversation – it’s no surprise to me that it should be doing so, so powerfully now.

Hello Sunshine is hosted by actress Reese Witherspoon, who picks a book she loves each month with a woman at the centre of the story in her very own book club. Join in the conversation on social media by searching @reesesbookclub and share your thoughts if you #readwithreese.

Facebook also has some great smaller scale clubs with live discussions where members share books, recommendations and vote for new books. One great book club is @bethsbookclub where people of all ages come together to review a book a month with a bonus one in the middle!

Check out Good Reads where there are tonnes of clubs to choose from – Good Housekeeping and The Guardian also have reading groups!


Virtual pub quiz

So the pubs are closed, we cannot meet our friends, and we cannot visit our family – but it does mean that the pub quiz can now be on any day of the week!


Let us know how you are staying connected during lockdown in the comments, below!


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