Name of organisation/institution:
Offene Jugendarbeit Lauterach/Open Youth Work Lauterach

Type of structure:
Youth centre/club

Vorarlberg, Austria

Short description:
The objective is to bring young and old people together. People with different social and cultural backgrounds and different age work together in cooperation on a “Luteracher bench” (a mixture between a wheelbarrow and a normal bench), which is removable by everyone in the whole area of the village.

Target group:

Young and old people

Age of participants:
1 – 99 years old

Methods used:

The idea of the „Luteracher bench“ is simple and ingenious at once: The bench has similarities to a wheelbarrow and can be used mobile. The bench is built by different people of the village and can be positioned by everyone individually – exactly to the right place where the bench is used.
A local school is preparing the single components. On public events children, youngsters and elderly people come together and build up new benches in cooperation. When the bench is ready to use, everyone is free to remove the bench to a public spot in the village.
The project includes cooperation and exchange between different generations and a constructive discussion about the utilisation of the public space and decreasing free spaces.

Practical arrangements used:
Preparation of the “bench kit”: Wood for the bench parts, screws, wheel for the barrow, specific tools
Build up the bench at a public event: “bench kit”, cordless screwdriver, screws and specific tools

Young and old people use public areas in different ways. The idea was to start a discussion about individual utilisation of public spaces and tackle conflicts between different generations in public space by supporting the communication between different groups by doing a project together. By having the same goal and working together on a project that is useful for everyone, all participants should be sensitised about the aims and needs of others in the public space.

Issues address:
Maintenance of free space, tackle generation conflicts,

Involve youngsters into a community project
Bringing people with different backgrounds together to tackle conflicts in public space
Provide stylish seating-accommodation in public space that makes you smile.

Impacts on youngsters:
The youngsters are involved in a community project
They are getting respect from the elderly people
They get sensibilised for the needs of the older generation
The pupils who prepared the “bench kit” learned new manual skills
The pupils are getting more self-confident because “their” products have a positive image and are used all over the village in a useful way.

Impacts on the organization:
After participating in several events, where the special benches were built, the benches are well established. Through that also the organisation is better known in public.
New cooperation with different partners
Through this project, a lot of discussions about the benches were started and further also about the positive work of the organisation.

Other impacts:
For preparing the „bench kit” the image of the school of the village enhanced

Partners: Local school, Refugees, Different social institutions and associations

Web link with the activity:

Contact information:
Offene Jugendarbeit Lauterach
Hofsteigstraße 2a
6923 Lauterach
Tel. +43(0)6649642341