I’m just Me – Interage a time for action programme for week commencing 18th December 2014
This week while listening to You and Yours on BBC Radio 4 Do people treat you differently when you’re older? Do we need to consider how we treat, respect and involve people in our communities, as an older person said in the programme ‘I’m just me’ and someone else said ‘we shouldn’t pigeon hole people in chronological ages’. So as we consider Rotary’s December Theme – The Family of Rotary, how do we as an organisation ensure all our activities are ‘interage’?
Another theme mentioned in the phone-in, was how our society is ‘warehousing older people’, let’s put them away in a home, does it feel like home and is it where they want to be?
This is definitely a new time of life for most people, time to try new things, give time as a volunteer, be part of an extended family, travel. How do we move from a very youthful orientated culture to one which is about valuing and celebrating ‘I’m just me and I feel like I always felt’.
As we consider the Rotary Family and how we work together, can we incorporate the idea of Interage activities, sharing our skills, talents, experience to help in each other’s development? Why don’t we run Music, Cooking, Speaking, Writer competitions involving all ages entering and all ages helping to organise?
In Click 4 Action eRotary we have introduced Family Membership, how can we encourage whole families to get involved in giving Service in our communities, while having fun doing it together, whilst meeting others and learning new skills through experiential learning? Plus our Rotary Community Corps can really get people involved in helping in their communities with a really wide age span and no worry about cost.
The exciting thing is if we think Interage as a time to get everyone considering how they can be involved in their communities through Service projects, then we can really ensure communities are inclusive. As we consider our ageing populations globally, let’s also think about how we involve them to help us learn from their experience, whilst they share our passion and enthusiasm for change and new ideas. By involving everyone who wants to be involved, we will overcome loneliness and doing to people. We want them involved because of their talents and things they bring by their involvement.
In the UK we have an ageing Rotary, we need to celebrate what they’ve achieved, whilst encouraging them to help younger people experience the magic of Rotary. The challenge therefore is to be thinking Interage activities- some members don’t like using ICT, then contact their Further Education College, could they help with interviews or preparation for work talks, while the students help them get into technology? Rotary is based on the object that we build friendships by doing things vocationally together, so we need to consider, how to encourage these social interactions in new ways.
We are looking for people to help us develop this idea of Interage in the Rotary Family – ideas, action, campaigning, eAwareness. It is time to get Rotary moving, growing through an ageless membership and helping communities to involve everyone in caring for each other, building relationships, learning new things and enjoying life. Valuing people, treating them as they feel and as who they are, it is time to think differently, develop a belief in working across generations.
- Are you still me or has the years changed how you feel?
- How can we make our communities inclusive to all?
- What action can you take?
- How do you engage with different generations through respect, value and support?