Intergenerational Linking



The Linking Network (TLN) is delighted to announce that it is partnering with The Dunhill Medical Trust and My Home Life in an exciting £1M programme to promote young people’s engagement with care homes for older people, through MHL and TLN’s Intergenerational Linking Project. The project is being funded through the #iwill Fund, a joint investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

This project of work aims to co-create, pilot and deliver a range of inter-generational, sustainable community engagement initiatives in the social care sector with the purpose of:

  • developing a long-term volunteering habit amongst young people, in particular those aged 5-14 years from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, through the provision of high-quality opportunities and support
  • connecting the residents of care homes for older people with their local communities in a way which is flexible, practically achievable and self-sustaining

The project intends to transform the lives of both young and older participants, initially in two pilot areas and then a further 10 areas throughout England. The Linking Network will seek to inspire, guide and make it easier for young individuals in primary schools, clubs, and community organisations to connect with residents, relatives and staff in care homes. We will help them to kick-start the habit of volunteering and social action, early in life, developing skills for the future and supporting them to feel part of a national effort to connect generations for mutual benefit. We will be partnering in this task with My Home Life who bring expertise in community engagement by Care Homes. We know this work aligns with spiritual, moral, social and cultural development including character education. We believe that for many primary schools and community organisations this will support them to do work they are already keen to do and connects with their priorities.

At The Linking Network we currently link schools with one another. Intergenerational Linking is a new strand of work where schools may choose to link a different year group with a care home.

We will be piloting this work in Bradford from January 2020 and so are looking to work to connect interested Care Homes with Primary Schools and Youth Organisations in their local areas across the Bradford district.


  • The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to  joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.
  • The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations who all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people.
  • Social action involves activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable young people to make a positive difference in their communities as well as develop their own skills and knowledge.
  • The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.
  • By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes, the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.


For further information, please contact Amy Lock (  01274 439248)


Intergenerational Book List


 This bright picture book describes the love between a young girl and her grandad. Touching on the concept of dying and loss, this book is full of poetic and ultimately uplifting words. We especially like, ‘If all the world were stories, I could make my grandad better just by listening, listening, listening to every tale he has to tell.’
If all the world were by Joseph Coelho & Allison Colpoys. Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781786036513

 This lovingly crafted picture book tells the story of when a young girl visits her great-grandfather. Whilst exploring his house, she finds a cigar box full of small matchboxes. Inside each one is an item which evokes a powerful memory for the man. Through dialogue and exquisite images, we discover more about the old man’s story of immigration and the beautiful relationship between generations.
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman & Bagram Ibatoulline. Publisher: Candlewick



 Grandpa Green wasn’t always a gardener. He was once a boy who lived on a farm, and a child with chickenpox. He was a soldier, a husband, and most of all, an artist.

Follow Grandpa Green’s great-grandson through a garden where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees, and imagination recreates things forgotten.’

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

ISBN: 9781596436077


 This sensitive picture book is a beautiful way of helping children come to terms with the loss of a loved one.  Although initially grief-stricken by the death of their friend Badger, the animals gradually learn to remember the special things he taught them and by doing so, discover that Badger can live on in all of them.
Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley. Publisher: Anderson Press

ISBN: 1849395144


 Alvina has two very different grannies who like very different things! Exploring identify, different cultures and how we can all live together, this is a fun and colourful book to be enjoyed by young children.
My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin & Margaret Chamberlain. Publisher: Frances Lincoln

ISBN: 9781847800343


The perfect follow-up to ‘My Two Grannies’, this book tells the story of Aston, who has two very different grandads. Grandad Harry is from Lancashire and plays the trumpet in a brass band; Grandad Roy is from Trinidad and plays the steel drum in a steel band. Together they explore music and culture in this
My Two Grandads by Floella Benjamin & Margarent Chamberlain. Publisher: Frances Lincoln.

ISBN: 9780711240919


A unique and thought-provoking book by artist JR. The photos used in the book were taken as part of a project called ‘The Wrinkles in the City’ and invite the reader to find out more about the ‘stories behind the wrinkles’.
Wrinkles by JR. Publisher: Phaidon

ISBN: 9781838660161


A light-hearted story about the exquisite bond between a young boy and his Grandpa who has developed Alzheimer’s. Spitfires, adventures and humour make this book a great read for Key Stage 2. Be aware of the somewhat negative portrayal of Grandpa’s care home however if reading alongside intergenerational linking.
Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams & Tony Ross. Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780008183424


Set against the backdrop of World War 2, this moving book tells the story of young Willie, who is evacuated to the country to live with an old widower, Tom Oakley. Although there are difficulties along the way, the two develop a strong, mutual bond in their new life together. A truly heart-warming story for Upper Key Stage 2.
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. Publisher: Puffin

ISBN: 978014135484


For classroom resources to support Intergenerational Linking, please visit the Intergenerational Linking resources section of our website.