Issue nr. 16 - 06/02/2020

Our first newsletter of 2020 has a truly international feel. It features exciting news about new research, publications and events which aim to put intergenerational practice in the spotlight internationally.

As always you can also read the latest news about the TOY Programme, including the upcoming 5th edition of the TOY Online Course, starting on 2 March.

TOY for Inclusion goes to Brussels on 19 February. Register now for this interactive event.

It would be amiss not to mention that with Brexit happening last week, there is change afoot in Europe. Nevertheless, in TOY we will continue to value the contributions from UK to intergenerational work and so in this Newsletter we also include news about a national IG campaign and conference, which are both happening in the UK in March. 

Latest News

5th TOY Online Course begins 2 March 2020

Registration is now open for the Together Old and Young Online Course via the Course webpage. This is the 5th edition of this very successful course, which hundreds of participants from all round the world have already participated in. 

In the course you will learn about intergenerational practice with young children (0 – 8 years old) and older adults (65+ years old) and you will discover practical ways to create opportunities for good quality and sustainable intergenerational learning activities. You will also hear about the experiences of fellow learners. This edition of the Course has been reviewed to include the most up-to-date resources and research about IGL.

It will take place between 2 March and 12 April 2020.

The course is tutored by Margaret Kernan and Giulia Cortellesi (ICDI) and Anne Fitzpatrick (formerly Technical University of Dublin). The technical assistance is offered by the DAISSy Group of the Hellenic Open University. 

More information and to register here


TOY for Inclusion 

TOY for Inclusion is the gateway to education and care for many children of disadvantaged communities. The second phase of the TOY for Inclusion project, TOY to Share, Play to Care is now well and truly up and running as already 14 ECEC Play Hubs are active and serving local communities in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia and Turkey.

The latest TOY blog published this week features the transformational story of Mark who attends the TOY for Inclusion Play Hub in Spišský Hrhov, Slovakia. We urge to read this heartfelt blog, which is written by Mark’s head teacher, Peter Strážik.

On 19 February 2020 TOY for Inclusion goes to Brussels. Click here to register

TOY for Inclusion is coordinated by ICDI and funded by Erasmus+ Programme and Open Society Foundations (OSF).


TOY for Quality programme - applications open

Are you interested in improving the quality of your intergenerational learning practice?

Then the TOY for Quality programme is what you are looking for!

With the support of a TOY Mentor and an easy to use Quality Assessment Tool you will be guided through a process involving joint reflection and action with colleagues in which the participants (children and older adults) in the IG activity also have a say.

The latest organization to take up this worthwhile challenge is Playgroup Queensland in Australia. In the next Newsletter we will feature their experiences.

Read more here if you are interested in applying for the TOY for Quality Programme, or contact us at


New research in intergenerational centre in Spain

Macrosad, a social cooperative in the care and educational sector in Southern Spain, and the University of Granada, through the Macrosad Chair in Intergenerational Studies are about to launch stage 2 of a research project. It is focused on the impact that an evidence-informed intergenerational centre has on users' and families' wellbeing and happiness.

The centre was founded in September 2018 and integrates a day care unit for adults and an early childhood service for 0-3 year olds. So far, the research team has spent one year training the centre's staff, identifying ways to strengthen the intergenerational work, and piloting activities to be carried out during the experimental phase.

To find out more about the research contact: Dr. Mariano Sanchez, Head of the Macrosad Chair in Intergenerational Studies, email:


Update from Penn State Intergenerational Program, US

2019 was a productive year for the Penn State Intergenerational Program. They continue to build upon their platform of intergenerational programming models and resources to share with others engaged in intergenerational work, near and far.

One highlight was the June 1, 2019 Intergenerational Friends Fair. This event, which emerged as a partnership between ILI (Intergenerational Leadership Institute) and the State College Friends School, featured interactive exhibits and events planned by over a dozen local organizations working to expand opportunities for intergenerational living, learning and leading throughout State College, Pennsylvania (U.S.). To access the final version of the video, click here

This video is part of a forthcoming publication: Kaplan, M., Long, D., & Pacchioli, L., (2020). The Intergenerational Friends Fair: A strategy for deepening a community’s intergenerational footprint. Multimedia curriculum. 


The TOY Book is published!

Order your copy of Intergenerational Learning in Practice: Together Old and Young, a book written by experts in the field of IGL from Europe, North America and Australia.

The book has already received very positive reviews including this endorsement from Elly Singer, Associate Professor University Utrecht, The Netherlands, retired. 

"The soul is healed by being with children". This book provides the scientific underpinning of Dostoyevsky’s wisdom. It gives inspiring examples of connecting the young and the elderly and how to strengthen community life.

Click here for more information about the contents and to order the book from Routledge - Taylor & Francis.


Sustainability and IGL

A Portuguese participant in the previous TOY Online Course, Claudia Azevedo, has shared this recent journal article which she co-authored with Mariano Sánchez about the sustainability of intergenerational programmes. 

This article addresses how the sustainability of educational intergenerational programs relates to why and how intergenerational program managers in the Portuguese area of Porto may have developed different attitudes and beliefs around adequate implementation of the programs.

You can read their article here.


From the press

The benefits of generations spending time together was discussed in various media outlets during the past month. Read this indepth article about how communal grandparents are helping to raise Finnish children, published on QUARTZ

Another related article is this one titled ‘The gap between young and old has turned Britain into a dysfunctional family’ from the Guardian newspaper in the UK. 




New book about IG Contact Zones to be published soon

We are also happy to share news about another new IG related book titled “Intergenerational Contact Zones. Place-based strategies for promoting social inclusion and belonging”, which is edited by Matthew Kaplan, Leng Leng Thang, Mariano Sánchez and Jaco Hoffman.

The ICZ concept embraces generation and regeneration of community life, parks and recreational locations, educational environments, residential settings and family life, and national and international contexts for social development. Essential reading for academics and researchers as well as practitioners and policy-makers. 

This book is being published by Routledge and will be available in March 2020. More information here.



TOY for Inclusion event in Brussels, 19 February 2020: Register now

On 19 February in the European Parliament in Brussels MEP Tanja Fajon will host an event to showcase the achievements of TOY for Inclusion. 

During the event,which will take place from 17.30 to 20.00 local policy makers, TOY for Inclusion partners and families will describe how TOY for Inclusion is making a difference to children and families.  As part of the event the TOY for Inclusion pop-up museum will also be launched. The evening will close with a networking reception.

The event is free but you need to register ASAP as places are limited.  For more information click here and to register fill in this form. 


National Intergenerational Conference, UK, 4 March 2020

Generations Working Together, UK is excited to launch the programme for their National Intergenerational Conference on Wednesday 4 March 2020 in the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The conference will be open to anyone who is interested in creating intergenerational communities, by means of connecting and building relationships between different generations with a specific focus on older and younger people. Further details can be found here.



National Intergenerational Week UK, 23 – 29 March 2020

The UK’s first National Intergenerational Week will take place from 23 to 29 March 2020. Coordinated by the St Monica Trust, the week provides an opportunity for organisations to join a national conversation on intergenerational practice and share their learning with others online.

Follow the conversation on the hashtag #IntergenerationalWeek. For more information and a downloadable social media pack click here


International IG Conference, Kobe, Japan, September 2020

Registration is now open for the international conference on Intergenerational Programs and Practices, which takes place in Kobe, Japan between 16 and 18 September 2020.  


On the TOY website we commit to provide current and ground-making news, research and developments about the world of intergenerational learning involving young children and older adults. If you have a news item you would like to share with us, please contact us at: 

International Child Development Initatives- ICDI

Margaret Kernan and Giulia Cortellesi 

Together Old and Young will build age friendly communities