Children and Older People Unite to Celebrate Intergenerational Solidarity

Published date: 
27 Apr 2010

Wednesday 28 April: For Release on Thursday 29 April (00.01Hrs)

The organisation Older & Bolder unites with the Children's Rights Alliance today (29 April), on European Day of Intergenerational Solidarity, to highlight the similar challenges facing children and older people in living their lives with the dignity and rights that they deserve.  Too often, interest groups are pitted against each other, but as a stance against this, both organisations have identified six areas of common interest for the wellbeing of children and older people:  public services, care, income, environment, education and participation.  To mark this day of intergenerational solidarity, both organisations are publicly supporting each other’s work and will stand together in defence of the rights of older people and children.

There are six key issues of common concern:

  1. Public services: each group relies on quality public services for their education, health and wellbeing, and access to such services can have a real impact on their quality of life. 
  2. Caring: at different stages in the lifecycle every individual cares, and is cared for.  Children and older people are members of families and communities dependent upon one another and this should be reflected in how the State supports care givers and recipients.
  3. Impact of financial decision making: access to an adequate and secure income is essential for a decent quality of life, and particularly so in the earlier and later stages of the lifecycle.  State benefits are essential and do much to combat the risk of poverty.
  4. Age-friendly Environments: both groups are highly dependent on public transport and public spaces, like parks and libraries and participation in local activities is essential to ensure that each group makes an ongoing contribution to their communities.
  5. Education and Lifelong learning: investing in education is essential and will pay dividends today and in later years, paving the way for a happy and fulfilled life.
  6. Genuine Participation: too often, older people and children are not invited to participate in decisions that affect them, despite knowledge and real life understanding that can help the State provide better services to its citizens. 

Jillian van Turnhout, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says: “The Alliance is delighted to work with Older & Bolder to ensure that Government provides children and older people with quality public services and social infrastructure that will make their lives as fulfilling as possible.  Too often, we are asked to point to interest groups that can take a financial hit, when fighting for your own particular corner, such as in the lead up to Budget day.  I have never, and will never, play that game and I believe it is essential that the Alliance stands shoulder to shoulder with Older & Bolder in defence of these issues of common concern.”

Older & Bolder’s Project Director, Patricia Conboy says: “Older & Bolder welcomes the opportunity to stand together with the Children’s Rights Alliance to mark the EU day of Intergenerational Solidarity.  In families and communities, older people and children are interdependent and support each other.  We want to see a similar solidarity in society.  Our organisations do not see children and older people as target groups with competing interests.  Rather we share a vision of an age friendly Ireland which, with political will, can shape quality services and systems of care that value and respect the dignity of people of all ages, including our children and older people.  This is an objective which we both share and which we will support each other in achieving.”

For further information, please contact:
Carys Thomas, Communications Director
Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087-7702845
Fax: (01) 662 9355

Notes to Editor:

  • The EU Day of Intergenerational Solidarity celebration is in its second year.
  • The Joint Statement, outlining the six common issues, can be found on the Children’s Rights Alliance web site, at:
  •  For more information about the Children’s Rights Alliance, go to: The Alliance is a coalition of over 90 NGOs working to secure the rights and needs of children in Ireland, by campaigning for the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It aims to improve the lives of all children under 18 years, through securing the necessary changes in Ireland’s laws, policies and services.
  • For more information about Older & Bolder, please contact Diarmaid O’Sullivan (01) 878 3623,; website: Older & Bolder is an alliance of NGOs that champions the rights of all older people, and seeks to combat ageism, acting as a catalyst for:
  • Supporting older people, through our member organisations, as active participants in shaping an Ireland that promotes the welfare and quality of life of all citizens.
  • Positively influencing and shaping beliefs and values, attitudes and opinion regarding ageing and older people.
  • Valuing the role of older people in the community and understanding the diversity of older people, including those with a disability.
  • Promoting an age-friendly society where decisions are informed by the expressed needs and preferences of older people and evidence-based research.


Children's Rights Alliance & Older and Bolder