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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 4 Projects

Intergenerational falls awareness sessions in primary schools

Oliver Williams

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

This Bevan Exemplar project created a partnership between healthcare students, primary school children and the health board to help older people learn about healthy ageing.

Staying Steady Schools is a partnership scheme between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University that brings together primary school children, older adults and university healthcare students to learn about healthy ageing and reducing the risk of falls.


Each school is allocated healthcare students from Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University, who co-ordinate their sessions and lead the presentation on the day. The schools invite older adults to attend the session, who may be relatives of the children, friends of the school or local residents from the nearby community.


During the sessions the children give an assembly presentation based on the national falls campaign in Wales of ‘Steady on stay SAFE’;

Attendees are shown the 6 evidence-based strength and balance exercises from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s ‘Get Up and Go’ document, along with demonstrations of checking walking aids for damage, other major risk factors for falls, ways to reduce the risks, and services that are available in the local area to offer support. Questionnaires are completed by attendees before and after the sessions to gain self-reported knowledge scores regarding falls risks, how to reduce them and what services are available. Qualitative feedback and stories are collected from children, older adults and the university students.

Statistical analysis of pre and post knowledge questionnaire scores has found a significant improvement (p= <0.001) in attendees’ knowledge of falls risks, how to reduce them and what services are available to them.

Benefits of Project:

  • Children’s awareness of falls risks.
  • Older adults’ awareness of falls risks.
  • Students’ awareness of falls risks.
  • Teacher/parent awareness of falls risks.
  • Fun and memorable way to learn.
  • Service awareness amongst community for seeking help and support.
  • Prevention/early intervention focus.
  • Social interaction benefits between generations.
  • Knowledge sharing between generations.
  • Cross-profession learning for Healthcare students.
  • Collaborative working between Cardiff and Vale UHB, Cardiff University, local schools and the community.
  • Economic – only limited input required from the UHB in order to reach a high number of people.

So far 16 schools, 163 older adults, 417 children and 20 university students have taken part.

“We are delighted to support this exciting intergenerational project.”

Helen Howson, Director, Bevan Commission

“Very useful exercises for us older folks and helpful to raise awareness among the young. They can be the ‘eyes’ for older people.”