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What is Linking Generations?

Created in 2004 as a charitable organization, Linking Generations provides mentored and structured visits aimed at building relationships between seniors and youth in our community. The program brings the generations together so they can share their knowledge and life experiences, and encourages volunteering and social responsibility in youth.

Linking Generations creates connections between seniors and youth by nurturing friendships built through volunteering and structured mentorship – Mission Statement

Photos taken prior to COVID-19

Awards and Acknowledgments

  • Duncan and Craig Laurel Award 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Rogers Hometown Hockey Award 2018
  • Pride of Strathcona 2019 Award – Outstanding Community Organization
  • Ministers Seniors Service Award 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Field Law Community Awards 2016, 2020

Donate Now & Support our Program!

Linking Generations is a Canadian Registered Charity in good standing. We are currently looking for donations to expand our program. If you are interested in making a donation directly to us, or would like to learn more about how you can help, please contact us for more information.

We appreciate the amazing support of our community! Donations can be made through Canada Helps:

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Addressing and Navigating COVID-19

This has been a challenging year for our seniors. As Linking Generations navigated a new world created by this challenging COVID global pandemic, the need for intergenerational connections between seniors and youth became more evident than ever before. The past months reinforced how critical it is that our community seniors be connected to family and to friends. With severe visiting restrictions placed at all senior facilities, many seniors have had little or no contact with the outside world. Beginning in March of 2020, Linking Generations created a letter writing program, where all program participating students wrote weekly letters to their “linked” seniors. Each week, LG Program Coordinators would forward these special letters to the senior facilities so that they could be delivered like regular mail. Seniors even undertook with writing back to the students! We are proud to share that over 250 letters/emails have been shared between the linked students and seniors! Some of the participating LG seniors and students also connected virtually through Skype or Zoom. LG helped our seniors remain cared for, valued and connected.

In the wake of COVID-19 and the start of moving towards a new normal, Linking Generations has spent the summer months in preparation for our 2020-2021 Program re-start. It has been even more evident that our seniors are isolated, lonely and withdrawn. It is critical that we keep seniors connected to youth. Although no-one can determine at this time what each of the next months will bring, we have our programs ready to go. We are committed to providing programs to help seniors better cope through the pandemic and day to day life in general.

Students and seniors will be able to visit while in their classroom cohorts with a senior in one of our senior facility partnerships, by a virtual platform. Together they can talk and get to know each other, and begin to share life stories and even do activities together virtually.  We shall also continue with our letter writing program since we know seniors love to receive unexpected ‘mail’ deliveries. Visiting on a virtual platform may be difficult for some of our seniors, however we are confident that we can ease their fears and make it seamless for them to continue to visit with our students. – Debbie Sinclair, Executive Director

Here at Bedford Village we are overjoyed to have the program in place, allowing weekly interactions between our residents and local schoolchildren.  When I first heard of their work, I was excited to have them in our Bedford Village community to support intergenerational communication, community building and life enrichment for our residents.  They continue to achieve and exceed those goals every year using absolute minimal budgets and driven dedicated volunteers and staff.  The impact this program has in my building and on the lives of the participates, residents and students, alike is tangible. If you are lucky enough to observe it the laughter and communication flows unabated in our dining room on program days as the properly matched students and residents share and learn from each other.

For years, I have seen the relationships grow and bring quality life enrichment to my residents and the students. In some cases, the bonds formed last long after the program year has ended and benefit the community for years.   The ingenuity and dedication of the program leadership and volunteers ensured it was maintained in spite of Covid precautions in a safe and effective way and proved even more valuable during the periods of isolation forced upon my residents to keep them safe. Indeed when the school year started, many residents came to me concerned about linking generations as they felt it was vital to their wellness. 

The Linking Generations program supports the concept of being good neighbours in a measurable way.  Some would question the wisdom of putting a senior’s residence across the street from the school. Any fears of misalignment have been eliminated by this relationship and the kindness it fuels. The results are real and impactful and bring joy, caring and kindness to Bedford Village.

Stephen Blackie – Executive Director, Bedford Village & The Village at Westmount

I have been with the linking generations program for 5 years now. Five years is just about a third of the time I’ve lived. Through this program, I can recognize now that five years is not that long of a time.

Some seniors in this program are over 100 years old! Despite being in the program from grade seven to grade 12, I really only feel I’ve experienced a fraction of what any of these seniors could impart on me. I could spend every day just talking with any senior in the room and I would never hear all of their stories.

I also feel that I’ve gained a greater depth about how they live. Sometimes, when I’m in class at school, I find myself thinking “I can’t wait until Thursday!” and just a couple weeks ago it struck me: Some of our seniors feel like this all week, every week. Once I realized this, I finally fully realized this program’s impact on both us as students and our seniors: —- for us, it has increased our compassion and has also given us a greater understanding of other ways of life. For the seniors, it has given them someone they see often, someone they can talk to and share experiences with.

I could never give enough thanks to this program for helping me develop these skills that I will have for the rest of my life, and I think I speak for the seniors when I say they’d thank us for giving being a friend.

A Participating Student