Issue nr. 25 - 21/12/2022

In the final TOY newsletter of 2022 we bring you news and stories about the power of intergenerational nurturing care. This is especially important for those who are displaced due to war or conflict, or who are feeling alone or isolated. Read about new research and practice-focused publications, new community-based IGL initiatives and conference and networking opportunities in 2023.

The TOY team wish all our readers, partners and supporters a peaceful and nurturing holiday season. We look forward to continue to provide you with the latest information about IGL in 2023.

Latest News

Ode to Parents campaign: older adults providing listening ear for new parents

One of the many characters in Bonnie Garmus’s best-selling novel, ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ is Harriet Sloane. Harriet is the kindly older neighbour who befriends Elizabeth Zott, the novel’s protagonist as she struggles to cope with new motherhood as a lone parent. The practical support and listening ear that Harriet gives to Elizabeth is similar to the support advocated in the Dutch Ode to Parents campaign. It is designed to unlock the diverse social networks around new parents to build their confidence as caregivers. It is part of the Gezonde Generation (Healthy Generation) campaign in the Netherlands. Read about the campaign in English here. View the campaign videos (in Dutch) here.


TOY Online Course

Congratulations to all the learners who completed the most recent edition of the international TOY Online Course that finished 18th December 2022. The topics addressed on the Course are as relevant now, as when the Course was first launched in 2018. Thanks to all the tutors, project coordinators and learners who made this Course so successful.

Here are some of the learners’ reactions:

‘This is the most complete and complex online course I have followed, thank you for this opportunity and for the enthusiasm you have conveyed to us! The theoretical and practical support, examples of good practices from so many projects already carried out in the world, the multiple resources will definitely help me to implement an intergenerational learning project in the community where I work and live.’

‘All I can say, the TOY [approach]) is very relevant and timely for all generations, cultures, races, countries.…The approach of self-learning was commendable…Some videos could not leave me the same, seeing and reflecting on the prejudices, inequality and negative attitude held especially [about] the old and the minorities.'

‘A truly wonderful and engaging course. I was in awe at how detailed and well organised the information was, which made all the content very easy digest. Hugo kudos to the team for championing Intergenerational Learning and spreading this mission globally.’


New funding awarded to GWT & partners

Congratulations are also due to Generations Working Together (GWT), Linking Generations Northern Ireland (LGNI) and Apples and Honey Nightingale in London who were jointly awarded substantial funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, in the UK to develop a model for embedding intergenerational approaches within communities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. Read more about this exciting new multi-year initiative here.


Intergenerational learning as a pedagogical strategy research article published in EECERJ

We are delighted to share news about publication of a research article by Anne Fitzpatrick describing her PhD research about IGL in ECEC settings in Ireland. Co-authored with Ann Marie Halpenny, it is the first article of the December 2022 edition of European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

The article is titled ‘Intergenerational learning as a pedagogical strategy in early childhood education services: perspectives from an Irish study’. The research demonstrated that children’s happiness, socio-emotional competences and executive functions, all key elements of successful learning and living, were strongly supported through IGL. Read more in the article abstract here.

The complete article is available online via your university e-library or you can contact Anne Fitzpatrick directly. Click here for blog about this research published on the TOY website in January 2022.


New handbook about intergenerational practice in schools

Routledge Taylor and Francis publishers have announced the soon-to-be-published handbook for educators called ‘Intergenerational Practice in Schools and Settings’. Written by Fey Cole, a Further and Higher Education Lecturer in Northern Ireland, it is a practical guide for educators wishing to set up an intergenerational programme in the settings and communities where they are based.

Click here for more information about ‘Intergenerational Practice in Schools and Settings’ and to pre-order a copy of the book, which will be available from 30th December 2022.


New TOY Blogs from Slovakia and Ireland

• TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs – a safe haven for Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia

After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Škola dokorán – Wide Open School in cooperation with UNICEF and ICDI launched six new TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs in Slovakia. The Hubs provide a vital, nurturing and safe play space where Ukrainian children who have fled the war can play with Slovakian children. Ukrainian adults of all ages are also benefitting from the Hub’s activities. Read more in this blog by Miroslav Balon.

• Intergenerational cricket in Ireland

We know that sport has the power to unite people of all backgrounds and generations at local community, national and international level. Read about intergenerational cricket, an initiative of Fingal County Council, Dublin, Ireland in this blog by Cathrina Murphy. 

Upcoming Events

We are delighted to share that two international ‘in-person’ conferences about intergenerational learning will take place in 2023.

In March 2023, GWT are hosting their now annual IG conference, which this year takes place in the Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde in Glasgow on 8th March 2023. More information about the conference here.

On 15th and 16th June 2023, Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, Norway University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and NTNU Oceans are hosting the interdisciplinary conference 'Sustaining, knowing and ‘living’ the Blue? Coastal communities as places to belong across generations' in Trondheim, Norway. More information about this conference here.


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 builds all-ages-friendly communities