Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 20

The "Vigilant grandparents"

Local administrations can give value the elderly within their family context and social fabric providing them the chance to participate in useful activities for citizenship.

The municipality of Cuneo, after a sensitivity campaign for obtaining a greater participation in social activities by the elderly, noticed some interest among them in spending their free time in socially useful activities, collaborating with municipal authorities.

So, the “Vigilant grandparents” project, for which many retirees have been willing to participate, has been set. The service is carried out according to the following modalities:

  • Park in front of the designed school during the pupils’ entering and leaving hours;
  • Accompany children to cross the street, after making sure the vehicles have stopped;
  • Invite minors to use pedestrian crossings.

The service is based on daily support which covers exclusively the schools’ entering and leaving hours, starting thirty minutes before children enter and ending thirty minutes after they entered school.

The activity is voluntarily provided and, therefore, it does not involve any compensation from the local government, not even for refunding the expenses.

The local government’s appropriate office takes out regular insurances for the “Vigilant grandparents” for covering the risks of civil responsibilities for possible damages to third-parties during the service and against potential accidents where the “Vigilant grandparents” could be involved in.

The local police organises a short training course for selected volunteers before starting the service and they assigns to each volunteer the school where he or she has to provide this service.

Every volunteer gets a reflective jacket with the “Vigilant grandparent” inscription on its back and a identity card which certifies the given qualification.

The relationship between volunteers, pupils and their accompanying adults will have to be based on education, respect and tolerance.
The local police must take care of the carried out activity.

These are the necessary requirements for getting the assignment:

  • to be aged between 50 and 75 years old;
  • to live in the municipality of Cuneo;
  • to be retired.

Every year, the local government releases a call for all those who would like to join the initiative.

Volunteers can present their application in order to be evaluated by the police force and the municipal appropriate office for making a list of right people.

The local administration of Cuneo pretends to build a urban security system in order to achieve a inhabitants-friendly city, where quarters and streets are not seen as hostile or dangerous areas, but as places where there are friendly figures and where legality culture rises and is also strengthen thanks to the work done by volunteers who provide useful services to citizenship.

Retirees also participate in other initiatives:

  • they work as animators in nursing homes, where hosts use to spend their time without doing anything or only watching television;
  • they provide their craft professional experience to cooperatives or protected employment centres where they help disabled people to learn a profession.

Egidio Ramondetti