Food for Life Scotland – Bringing Generations Together

Good food is at the heart of happy, healthy communities, bringing people of all ages together. Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life Scotland (FFLS) programme works to transform food culture and put good food on the menu, in the curriculum, and in all the places people live their daily lives.

In late 2015, FFLS set up an intergenerational project in Edinburgh which focuses on two settings – Inch View Care Home and Liberton High School. Both venues come under the management of the City of Edinburgh Council and both already have a commitment to good food through the Food for Life Catering Mark award.

When the idea of an intergenerational project was introduced, the school and the care home were enthusiastic. Both were keen to use the journey of their food –‘from soil to plate’ – as a basis for learning, sharing, and celebrating together.

Inch View polytunnel

Building a wheelchair-accessible polytunnel at Inch View has been one of the key projects. Volunteers helped with the construction and pupils from Liberton built its doors as part of their Craft Design & Technology work. Produce will be used in the home’s kitchen as ingredients for residents’ meals and scraps will also go to feed the home’s chickens.

Inch View chickens

As part of a dementia prevention project, Inch View decided to create a recipe book which involved residents reminiscing about childhood memories of food. The school’s art department ran a competition with S2 to design the cover, and pupils are now planning to produce the whole book, including illustrations.

In March 2016, a daffodil lunch was held at Liberton High School. Pupils from the school’s Food for Life Action Group worked with their school cook to look at nutrition for older people and consider what dishes they might like to eat. Pupils designed invitations, menus, prepared the tables and cooked up a fabulous range of dishes for their special guests from Inch View. Three generations sat down to eat together, sharing their experiences and getting to know each other.


Future events being planned include a strawberry tea and harvest event in autumn, as well as the on-going sharing of produce grown in Inch View’s polytunnel and the school’s raised beds. One pupil from Liberton has been inspired to consider a career in catering and another pupil who has expressed an interest in care work has been offered work experience at Inch View.

The project has been a real team effort, it’s a great example of generations working together and celebrating through food.

To find out more about Food for Life Scotland, please visit or email

What’s happening with Luminate: Scotland’s creative ageing festival?

Luminate Web logo

Applications to take part in Luminate: Scotland’s creative ageing festival, have been flooding in ahead of last week’s deadline and given the wonderful variety of projects and ideas that have been put forward, we’re really looking forward to announcing programme details on Wednesday 25th July.

Luminate is a brand new festival which will take place across Scotland this October. Featuring events and activities celebrating and profiling our creative lives as we age, Luminate is part of a nationwide drive to increase the number of older people enjoying high quality arts activities – whether as artists, performers, participants or consumers.

There’s already an exciting range of creative work with and for older people taking place across Scotland and the festival looks to celebrate and build on this through new commissions, collaborations, and international projects alongside a wide range of independently-run projects, including work led by community groups, artists and cultural organisations.

Luminate will feature a wide range of projects aimed at older people as participants and audience members; activities that bring the generations together, work by older professional artists, creative activities with people being cared for in residential homes and in their local community, and work which explores themes based upon the nature of our creative lives as we age.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can keep up to date with all the festival’s developments:

Relationships Scotland: why grandparents are grand

This guest post is by Relationships Scotland. The charity has come together with Parenting Across Scotland and film-maker Martin Smith to produce four short films giving grandparents a voice to express what’s important to them. 

Granddad with grandson

We want to promote the importance of positive grandparental involvement to the well-being of all generations within families and spark conversation around what support is available for grandparent kinship carers and grandparents denied contact with their grandchildren.

We know grandparents can provide crucial emotional and practical support for their whole family, particularly during difficult times such as financial hardship or family separation. An estimated 1 million children in the UK are unable to see their grandparents because of family separation (Grandparents Plus).

Working with grandparent kinship carers, we understand the huge life changes that can come with this role. These grandparents can experience a number of practical and emotional challenges as a direct result of their caring role but often feel that this is overlooked. Watch the video below to get an idea of what kinship caring involves:


Our films look at some of the challenges faced by grandparents and their families but also celebrate the contribution that grandparents make to family life and the sense of well being this role can bring.

As part of our work in supporting intergenerational kin relationships we would like to have a day celebrating grandparents on Twitter. On the 13th of June we will be tweeting using the hashtag #theyregrand. We would love it if you would join in our celebration by:

  1. Sharing a memory of their grandparents
  2. Tweeting about what influence their grandparents had on them
  3. Tweeting about what it’s like to be a grandparent.

In our experience of supporting grandparents we often hear that grandparents do not feel adequately represented within our society. The families that participated in our filming not only wished to speak out for their own families, but also for those grandparents who don’t feel able to.

Watch the video of Dorothy and John talking about losing touch with their grandchild:


We hope that their films will be widely shared and help contribute to a better understanding of grandparents roles and increased support when needed.

Do you have any stories or thoughts about grandparents that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Intergenerational win at YouthLink Scotland Awards

Development Officer Charlie Murphy presents the New Spin team with their award for Best Intergenerational Youth Worker of the Year.

Development Officer Charlie Murphy (left) presents the New Spin team with their award for Best Intergenerational Youth Worker of the Year.

Promoting intergenerational work is a cornerstone of Age Scotland’s remit across Scotland, as it gives local communities the opportunity to span generations and bring them together.

Youthlink Scotland is the national agency for youth work in Scotland, and last night at the fifth annual YouthLink Scotland Awards in Glasgow, the award for Best Intergenerational Youth Worker of the Year went to the New Spin Project Team in Edinburgh.

The team is part of the Citadel Youth Centre based in Leith, Edinburgh, and works closely with the older people of the Age Scotland member group, the Pilmeny Development Project.

Many of the older and younger people who take part in New Spin come from disadvantaged areas and the relationships they have developed through the project have contributed to a general feeling of community wellbeing and pride.

Some of the major highlights from recent New Spin activity include:

  • Over 150 individuals participating in over 100 activities, with over 1500 separate attendances to date
  • 77% of older people surveyed reported an increased feeling of confidence and better understanding of young people
  • New Spin won a City of Edinburgh ‘Get Up and Go’ Award in 2010 for innovative work in a community

The award was announced by Age Scotland Development Officer West, Charlie Murphy and presented by Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People.

Age Scotland’s Charlie Murphy said: “Intergenerational work is good for young and old people alike and is essential for communities. I am really happy to see that the New Spin team has come first in the YouthLink Scotland National Awards and hope that this example of older and younger people working together will be replicated in many other communities across Scotland.”

If you would like to learn more information about the New Spin project in Leith, Edinburgh, contact Andy Skea on 0131 554 0510 or email him at