Elderly in plea to bridge the generation gap
Charlotte Newton PENSIONERS have leapt to the defence of young people in the borough and have made an impassioned plea for better communication to bridge the generation gap. The revelations came to light during a meeting of the Muswell Hill and Highgate P
PENSIONERS have leapt to the defence of young people in the borough and have made an impassioned plea for better communication to bridge the generation gap.
The revelations came to light during a meeting of the Muswell Hill and Highgate Pensioners' Action Group, led by 17-year-old youth representative Adam Jogee.
The Highgate Wood School pupil met with the pensioners last week.
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Adam, of Rathcoole Gardens, Hornsey, hailed the union a huge success and said it was the beginning of a structured working relationship between young and old people.
He admitted he was "pleasantly surprised" by the concerns that members had shown for young people living in Haringey.
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Among the topics raised was a need for more facilities for young people, and concerns over the way teenagers are portrayed in the media.
"Many of the people I spoke to have grandchildren and are concerned about the way young people are depicted in the media," Adam said. "They want to see the good things reported such as when teenagers get 10A*s rather than there being 10 stabbings.
"They also expressed concern about provisions for young people in Haringey. A few people complained about a rush on public transport at the end of the school day. They said they would like young people to show more respect on the buses."
The meeting was held at a sheltered housing unit in Alexandra Park Road last Wednesday.
Pensioner Janet Shapiro, 69, who organised the meeting, said: "We want to foster local inter-generational co-operation. Several ideas were raised as to how mutual support could be encouraged. Adam suggested that individual schools could be twinned with sheltered housing units. Older people are already helping in schools through Age Concern's Trans-Age Action and local schools have invited groups of older people for entertainment and discussions."
Members of the Haringey Forum for Older People (HFOP) previously tried to bring co-operation between retired and young people under the umbrella of the Peace Alliance. But their optimism had been renewed by this week's meeting.
Mrs Shapiro, of Connaught Gardens, added: "Better progress will be made if the Youth Council and the HFOP liaise and send representatives to each other's meetings. There will be a great deal more useful communication between the generations."
Adam also explained his role as the London representative on the UK Youth Parliament to the audience. The Haringey Youth Council (HYC) mirrors the local council and meets at the town hall in Wood Green.