The Intergenerational Café has made a long-awaited return to South West College, following its successful launch by the Childcare staff and students back in 2018.

This ground-breaking initiative brings together members of the local community of all ages, from primary school children to nursing home residents, to celebrate diversity and promote learning and understanding across generations. The Café was a resounding success, with a positive impact that extended beyond the college campus and into the wider community.

The award-winning Intergenerational Café was unfortunately postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the students of the 2023 academic year were thrilled to be able to plan and deliver a fantastic event once again. The students organised a Christmas-themed session of arts and crafts, bottomless tea and coffee, freshly made crepes, and a fun and highly competitive game of bingo, which culminated in some live Christmas music and an impromptu dance-along. They were joined by the pupils from Howard Primary School alongside their friends and relatives from across the generations.

Fey Cole, Curriculum Manager at SWC, described the Intergenerational Café as a project-based learning initiative with far-reaching benefits for everyone involved, including the students, staff, and participants.

“To see the hall full of music, stories and friendship today was just a lovely way to get the sessions properly back to SWC.I found it a sad moment when we had to cancel our intergenerational event back in 2020 due to the pandemic. After all our past work, it was hard to see the sessions cancelled but we kept up the links and did some great outreach work over zoom.”

Fey highly recommends that other settings get involved in some form of intergenerational care, as everyone can learn so much from listening to each other and coming together to chat and learn from one another.

South West College would also like to thank Linking Generations NI who provided funds for the event as part of their Christmas Connections campaign. SWC values their ongoing support and commitment to the initiative.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Intergenerational Café or know someone who would benefit from it, don't hesitate to contact South West College for further information. This initiative is a shining example of how people of all ages can come together to promote understanding, learning, and positive change in their communities.

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