Generations come together for Ageless Play

It was a case of older residents making younger friends at a City of Ballarat event designed to bring different generations closer together on Tuesday.

The Ageless Play Intergenerational Playgroup activity was held at the Robert Clark Centre in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, a key event that celebrated both the Seniors Festival and Children’s Week.

The event involved a range of activities, with groups of older residents actively engaging and working closely with children aged under five-years-old, including interactive activities, engaging story time and songs, bush craft and some morning tea.

Intergenerational activities are designed to improve mood, physical strength, appetite and confidence when bringing different members of the community together, in a similar way to the popular ABC television series ‘Old People’s Home For Four-Year-Olds’.

Children’s Week runs every year in the last week of October, while the Seniors Festival runs for the entire month.

City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor, Cr Amy Johnson said hosting the intergenerational day was a great way to celebrate older and young residents in the one event.

“Children learn a lot through their interactions with others in the community and intergenerational programs can help children to understand ageing, break down stereotypes, and can also fill a social gap for children without grandparents or other seniors in their lives,” she said.

“Connection across generations is important for building more inclusive and cohesive communities, helping to overcome fears and prejudices, fostering friendships and providing opportunities to share knowledge.

“According to the World Health Organisation, intergenerational strategies are among the most effective interventions to reduce ageism against older people, and they also show promise for reducing ageism against younger people.”

The City of Ballarat is a signatory to the Victorian Child Friendly Cities and Communities Charter and has a strong commitment to listening to children and ensuring that children are participating in their community.

Participants of The Ageless Play Intergenerational Playgroup

The Municipal Early Years Plan 2022-2026 outlines a commitment to engaging children in the life and decision-making of our city, while also ensuring every child in Ballarat has access to high quality facilities, services and programs that meet their needs.

A full program of Children’s Week activities can be found on the Parent Place Facebook page.

The City of Ballarat is also a coalition member of EveryAGE Counts, a campaign aimed at tackling ageism against older Australians, sharing a commitment to raising awareness of the campaign locally and highlighting the impacts of ageism.

The Ageing Well in Ballarat Strategy 2022-2026 outlines a commitment to creating an age-friendly community for our residents, with more than 30 per cent of the Ballarat population aged 55 and above.

The Seniors Festival will culminate with the Ballarat Senior of the Year Awards at Town Hall on Tuesday 31 October.

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