This is part of a series of conversations with member organisations of the Connection Coalition.
Ready Generations is a charity set up in 2019 to support connection and sustained relationships between people of all ages. With expertise in early years education and care, we work with settings across the country to build intergenerational communities. Linked with a number of universities, we are a research charity and everything we try to do is evidence-based.
Sue Egersdorff discusses their work, challenges, what works well for them and what the future might hold.
What’s your role at Ready Generations?
I am a co-founder of the charity alongside my fabulous colleague, Liz Ludden. We are both trustees and I am currently Chair of Trustees. As passionate early years professionals, we observed how naturally very young children and older people enjoyed each other’s company with both benefitting in so many ways. Our observations only increased our curiosity. That’s how our journey started and every day we are learning more and gathering evidence to show the potential of intergenerational relationships
What do you love most about your work?
I absolutely love developing and growing Ready Generations from an early seed of an idea. In July 2022, we opened the first fully integrated intergenerational nursery in the heart of a care village in Chester. This has been a massive project but I am so proud of how it has changed many people’s lives for the better in so short a time.
I find it hard to separate personal and professional achievements as for me, they are the same and represent what I stand for and believe in.
What’s your biggest challenge?
As a small but very busy charity, I know straight away what my biggest challenge is! It’s finding time for fundraising and grant applications. I find grant applications the most difficult as we never seem to quite fit the criteria. We are either too small, don’t have enough money in the bank, haven’t been established long enough etc.
However, with practice, I am getting better and won’t let this defeat me!
What do you do that works particularly well?
Ready Generations has developed a particular bespoke relational model called the Attuned Relationships Model. We use this in all our work to ensure consistency, equity and impact. The model is based on the theories of attachment and attunement and recognises the centrality of psychological safety.
What can you offer other members?
There is always an open invitation to come and see our Intergenerational Nursery in action. We can promise a warm welcome and always chocolate biscuits!
How can other members help you?
I strongly believe we all achieve more when we join up our ideas and take time to have, what I call, reflective pauses. Steady improvement needs us to slow down enough to think deeply and listen to feedback from others. Any opportunities to have deep conversations always help me to focus and stay focussed on the things that really matter. So – more opportunities to spend time with members of the Connection Coalition would be fabulous!
How does your organisation’s future look?
I am really excited about the future of Ready Generations and its growing capacity to make lives better for people, especially the most marginalised. I believe strongly that the way we care for and listen to particular groups reflects our values and how we see the world around us. We believe we all have a story that needs to be heard.
How can other members best connect with you?
Email – [email protected]
Twitter – @readygen
Website – www.readygenerations.co.uk
Website – www.nurseryinbelong.org.uk