Since the launch of our first Minds in Motion session, the program has really grown. We couldn’t have done it without the support we receive from the Toronto community. This fall, we’re happy to be running four sessions, with more to follow! We first wrote about Minds in Motion on the blog back in March, but it’s time for an update because we have some very exciting news…
Minds in Motion is going intergenerational! We’ve teamed up with the Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) and the Toronto Police Service. Romina, who coordinates the Minds in Motion sessions, believes that many youth have an innate ability to connect with people living with dementia:
“Youth approach interactions without judgement or pre-conceived notions of what dementia is. Both groups also have much to learn and teach one another, not only from individual perspectives but societal, too. Intergenerational connections offer a win-win for everyone involved.”
YIPI is an initiative that started 10 years ago. It aims to promote youth participation in the work environment through diverse, educational, and productive work assignments.
“We wanted to give back to the community we live in. It’s an opportunity to experience a beneficial program making a positive impact in our community. We want to treat others the way we want to be treated,” said Peter De Quintal, the School Resource Officer for 12 Division.
You might remember Peter from the Etobicoke Walk For Alzheimer’s. He formed a team to support us with some online Twitter friends. In Romina’s words, “During the walk, Peter explained that he would like for the YIPI to have hands-on experience in the community during their work assignments this summer. I am always seeking to introduce intergenerational connections to our programming, so one conversation led to the other and the partnership was established!”
For YIPI, joining forces with team AST means creating a greater knowledge base and getting to know the Toronto community better. YIPI will get involved with Minds in Motion as all of our volunteers do—they’ll make sure everyone is participating, socializing and feels comfortable in the group.
Most of all, they will get the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with people living with dementia and their caregivers in a social setting, make meaningful connections, and be part of programming that promotes living well with dementia.
If you’d like to volunteer with Minds in Motion or our new Volunteer Companionship Program and be a part of our intergenerational efforts, volunteering directly with people living with dementia, get in touch with us here. We have plenty of opportunities for you to fill your required hours of community service while giving back and having fun!