The outcomes & impact of Intergenerational Linking: what our research project tells us about linking schools & care homes

It was amazing to be joined virtually by so many people on Wednesday 22nd February 2023, as we shared the outcomes and impact of Care Home Friends and Neighbours (Care Home FaNs): Intergenerational Linking – England’s biggest intergenerational project with care homes.

We held a national webinar to share our findings from the project, as well as a link to our full research report and free resources.

Care Home FaNs: Intergenerational Linking was a national social action project that originally ran from 2019-2022 and was targeted in 11 less socio-economically advantaged areas of England. It connected young people aged 5-14 from schools and youth organisations, with older people living in care homes.

Over the past 3 years, more than 4,000 young people have connected with an estimated 2,000 older people living in care homes!

In addition, there have been other community connections and partnerships formed as a result of the local links, as well as children outside of the main project who took part in the 2022 ‘Become a Care Home Friend’ Challenge.

Of those surveyed:

  • 95% of care home leads reported that residents appeared to enjoy the intergenerational interactions ‘very much’
  • 91% of school leads reported that their children appeared to enjoy the intergenerational interactions ‘very much’
  • 90% of school and care home leads reported that they would recommend intergenerational linking to others.


Some of the reported outcomes of Intergenerational Linking included:



Care home lead:

“I was surprised by the fact that the residents’ attention, mood, energy, and enjoyment all increased when the students came to visit – they’d come alive. It is nothing short of a miracle!”

Primary school student:

“Meeting older people has definitely boosted my confidence, talking to all of the care home residents has been a pleasure.”

Local broker:

“A teacher talked about some of her pupils with autism when they met residents living with dementia. Almost a mutual understanding and the comfort of sitting in silence. She said it was really beautiful to see.”


A large proportion of the school-care home partnerships created through the project have expressed a desire to continue linking, which is fantastic news given sustainability was a key aim.




Download the full research report.

It can be cited as: My Home Life England and The Linking Network (2023). Care Home Friends and Neighbours (Care Home FaNs) Intergenerational Linking Project Final Report: Discovering the untapped potential and social value of connecting younger people with older people living in care homes. City, University of London




Download an 8 page summary of the full research report

This highlights the main findings in a shorter format.




We have also created a free guide to Intergenerational Linking.

It shares information, tips and learning from the project, to help create more intergenerational connections between schools and care homes.





It’s been a privilege to lead this project over the past 3 years, in partnership with The Linking Network and brilliant local organisations.

This project was funded through the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.

The Dunhill Medical Trust acted as a match funder for this project and awarded grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund. We are so grateful for their support throughout the project.