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HomeArts & CultureDalhousie Inter-Gen Society will help with loneliness in students and seniors alike

Dalhousie Inter-Gen Society will help with loneliness in students and seniors alike

The new society will launch this fall

For Dalhousie University students looking for opportunities to get involved in their community and gain volunteer experience, the new Dal Inter-Gen Society is the perfect place to start.

Dal Inter-Gen is a society that will allow Dalhousie students to volunteer at local seniors’ homes and make connections with seniors looking for company. Dal Inter-Gen will be holding weekly activities like board games, arts and crafts, reading and baking to foster connections that benefit both the seniors and student volunteers. 

Kasia Johnson and Ericka Peck are co-founders and co-presidents of the Dal Inter-Gen Society. They hope to get the society up and running in time for next fall, and are in the process of ratifying, establishing their social media presence and recruiting executive members.

Both Johnson and Peck are interested in healthcare and mental health within a variety of communities so, when they noticed a need in Halifax, they took action. Peck explains that she and Johnson noticed that for both seniors and university students in Halifax, there is a serious loneliness problem that is not being addressed. 

“Me and Kasia both have a big interest in community and population health, and loneliness is a huge aspect that is overlooked within healthcare,” says Peck. “So, I think this society is something we were really interested in doing. In these two groups of people, students and seniors, there is a huge amount of loneliness and I think pairing these two groups together is a great way to combat that.”

The co-founders said they hope Dal Inter-Gen will make a difference in their community. Once up and running, the society will be able to help multiple groups of people at once. Because just as common as it is for seniors to feel isolated, students often feel a need for more connection too. 

“A lot of university students don’t prioritize social interaction,” says Johnson. “Depending on their academic load, they don’t think about social activity. So, making a volunteer program that encourages people to get out there and do some social things, and also helping seniors have that social interaction, it’s very important.”

Dal Inter-Gen Society will launch in the fall of 2024. Next September, students should be on the lookout for sign-up opportunities for the volunteer program, where they will be able to choose different days or weeks in which they want to participate. 

Partaking would mean gaining volunteer experience while making a significant contribution to the Halifax community. “It’s really open to anyone who is interested,” says  Johnson.

If you’re interested in joining the Dal Inter-Gen Society, you can follow their Instagram, dal.intergen, for any updates. 

“Join us!” says Peck. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we’re really excited to start.”

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