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Commission gives prizes for outstanding contributions to European Year 2012


Winners of a competition to promote active ageing have been announced by László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. There were six categories of winners in the competition, selected from over 1300 submissions, which was organised as part of the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

"The commitment and innovative ideas shown by the prize winners, and thousands of others who work for a better and more inclusive society, give me confidence that we can successfully tackle the challenges of population ageing", said Commissioner Andor.

The winners are:

Intergenerational encounters in schools - Gravity Racer Project, Huolin Koulu School, Finland. 12 year old students and granddad Hannu Gustafsson worked and learned together on an exciting project to build a gravity racer car.

Journalism – (written) The Generation Gap, JP/Politiken Hus, Denmark. Four journalists at Politiken focused on how younger and older generations try to function together; (audiovisual) The Senior at Work, Cultfiction Oy, Finland. An 18-part reality TV series on public channel Yle TV1 about people who choose not to retire.

Individual life-time achievements - Bruno Põder, Kersti Skovgaard, Estonia. Bruno continued to work as a surgeon until the age of 80 without losing his positive attitude or his ambition to contribute to society.

Social Entrepreneurship - Two Generations Share a House, Typhaine de Penfentenyo, France. Students stay in the home of an older person for free or at a moderate rent in exchange for help and company. Ensemble2générations created by Typhaine de Penfentenyo addresses the isolation of older people and the shortage of affordable student housing. Since 2006 there have been over 900 student/elderly partnerships and over 15 regional branches opened in France.

Age-Friendly Environments - Life-Long Living, Fredericia, Denmark. An example of a new model for interaction between elderly citizens and the local social services, focusing on everyday rehabilitation. The programme saves €70,000 per month in assistance services requested by seniors –tangible proof of increased independence!

Workplace for all Ages - Managing People of Different Ages, Helsingin kaupunki, Henkilöstökeskus, Finland. Helsinki seeks to be a model for promoting an age-diverse workforce by getting everyone involved: from local sports centres, to health care providers, to occupational services.

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