‘Cultural divide’ between young and old exploded

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THE CULTURAL divide between young and old is seemingly a myth, as new research suggest a golden age of harmony between generations has begun.

Rather than being at loggerheads, 97 per cent of under-25s and 96 per cent of over-55s enjoy spending time with one another, exploding the myth that these two groups live completely separate lives.

A survey by Oddfellows Friendly Society, which has a branch on Meanwood Road, has “shattered” the commonly-held belief that opposite ends of the age spectrum shun each other.

Oddfellows says its research shows that the two groups shared knowledge – offering guidance on topics as diverse as social media, maths, how to make do and mend, modern slang, dancing, snowboarding, knitting and where to get good tattoos.

However, while it showed that people wish to spend time with those from another generation, many are starved of the opportunity to do so.

One in four of the over 55s rarely or never spend time with the other age group, while one in five 13-25 year olds had few opportunities to spend time with over 55s.

The benefits of bringing together younger people with those who may be isolated or lonely in their later years is something that has long been evident to Holt Park-based older people’s charity The Opal Project.

It has many volunteers under the age of 25, including university students, and each year pupils from Ralph Thoresby School host a Christmas dinner for 150 of its members.

Project manager Ailsa Rhodes said: “We do have some areas around here where older people might feel vulnerable or intimidated walking past a group of young people, but when you put them together in a safe environment you can garner something special, where both sides benefit.”