It’s time to end the ‘age apartheid’ in Britain where different generations are segregated by age. Apparently (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/30/ageism-european-social-survey?INTCMP=SRCH) the UK is one of the worst countries in Europe for ageism, riven by intergenerational splits.
A major piece of research by the European Social Survey across 28 countries cites the UK as having a problem with age discrimination. We are a segregated society when it comes to mixing the age ranges – the social spaces in the UK are generational specific, so people just don’t do things together. Expanding and integrating services on shared sites really should be a no brainer.
Shared sites and activities bringing older and younger people together make economic and social sense. Children’s centres and schools could be opened up to serve their wider community and break down the barriers between different age groups.
Imagine if we lived in a country where we really invested in the future, where all children get a good start in life, where older people and young people value and respect each other. Shared sites can provide the catalyst for these ambitions and much more and they can also provide sustainable models for local services under threat from closure. 30 October 2011