Talkin’ about my generation

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24 nov 2010

A look at young people’s perceptions of age

A report by London Youth, working with the Beth Johnson Foundation, looked at young people’s perceptions of age. Supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

‘I look at adults like they were never ever young. It feels to me that they were always old because they look at young people as though…..they were never like this age, they were always the way they are. And it really does frustrate me because in order for us to get where older people are, we are going to need the help of adults who have been there before.’  

The news today is often full of negative views of young people. In particular there has been a great discussion about how older people are fearful of so called ‘gangs of young people’ who they believe pose a threat to them, even though the evidence doesn’t support this.

This ground breaking report by London Youth, working with the Beth Johnson Foundation, has used participative workshops to find out what young people really think about ageing and relationships across the generations. It gives a rich insight into young people’s perspectives and the importance of building positive and respectful relationships between the generations.

A copy of the full report is available from the Beth Johnson Foundation and London Youth websites. We would also wish to acknowledge the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation who made this work possible.

Beth Johnson Foundation
The Beth Johnson Foundation is a national organisation that aspires to have a positive impact on the lives of older people and the communities where they live. It works to achieve this through pioneering initiatives that bring together research, policy and practice. For more information please go to or

London Youth
London Youth is a vibrant network of more than 400 community organisations – serving 75,000 young people and their families, in every London Borough. We’re here to help young people be the best they can be.

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is an international charitable foundation with cultural, educational and social interests. Based in Lisbon with branches in London and Paris, the Foundation is in a privileged position to support transnational work tackling contemporary issues facing Europe. The purpose of the UK Branch in London is to connect and enrich the experiences of individuals, families and communities with a special interest in supporting those who are the most disadvantaged. In 2008, the Foundation launched an initiative on ageing and social cohesion, with a number of activities developed with colleagues in Lisbon. This report represents the latest development of a wide portfolio of work which we hope will contribute to a growing understanding of the impact of demographic ageing on our society.

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