Created 20 years ago, the European Grandparents’ School (École des Grands-Parents européens, or EGPE) aims to make people aware of older people’s contribution and support as grandparents and to foster intergeneration cooperation and solidarity.
EGPE represents 16 million grandparents in France. It works with 120 experienced and trained volunteers in Paris and in 15 regional branches.
Areas of work
> Advocacy of grandparenthood
EGPE advocates the role of grandparenthood to public authorities, family and social organizations, the
press and the general public. It defends the essential role of intergenerational solidarity played by
> Providing support and services
EGPE offers a range of services through its "Allo Grands-Parents" hotline : 00.33 (0)1 45 44 34 93
This daily service is provided by professional psychologists, sociologists and doctors to support and meet
grandparents’ expectations and concerns. The most frequent motive is the loss of the link with the
grandchildren or the difficulty of establishing that link.
- National symposiums, conferences and workshops on topics related to grandparenthood :
Requested by town halls and associations, these conferences and symposiums enable grandparents to
discuss topics of interest. The workshops address various themes and offer opportunities for meeting
- Cultural activities :
The association organizes visits to exhibitions, theatre, concerts shared with grandchildren.
> Supporting volunteering
EGPE also encourages older people to take part in intergenerational activities, such as:
- Language workshops in “écoles maternelles” (preschool level) :
These workshops are intended for preschool children with speech difficulties. After training provided by EGPE, the volunteer
grandparents meet the same small groups of children on a weekly basis. They work in the schools
(in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux), at the request of the school management, with the approval of the
Rectorat (Education authority).
- Becoming a "Babalia":
This means learning how to provide help and psychological support to young
mothers with no relatives or whose relatives live too far away.
- “Tricotez coeur” ("Knit with your heart") :
Created 10 years ago, this intergenerational initiative brings together more than 6 000 volunteer knitters to produce clothes for babies in maternity wards and to associations. It aims to create links between knitting grandmothers who are often isolated and mothers in difficult situations.
Added value of being a member of AGE
As you know our name is European School of Grand Parents and as a matter of fact we are quite close to other European grandparents’ associations though there are only a few. For each symposium we invite European experts to share with us their global analysis of grandparenthood. So AGE, which is even more dedicated to seniors’ problems all over Europe, offers EGPE a great opportunity to meet other seniors' associations in order to unite our common efforts against the generational fracture. And we should not forget that 85 % of seniors are grand-parents ! Intergenerational solidarity issues are and will be the coming challenges we will have to face in Europe.
Mme Régine FLORIN