Every Friday for the last 4 weeks, 10 Reception pupils have visited Sanctuary Retirement Living’s Millbrook House, to take part in a pilot scheme initiated by Community Cares, and Cambridgeshire charity Care Network. The project was formed to help the different generations integrate, provide fulfilling activities and reduce social isolation among older people.
Each week the children and residents completed different activities together, including handprint painting, making place mats, bug hunts, parachute games, planting nasturtium seeds and a celebration picnic. Each session began with a hello song and ended with stories read by the residents, nursery rhymes and a good bye song.
As a result of one of the activities one child made a birthday card for one of the residents and dropped it to Millbrook. The resident concerned said that he would cherish that card all his life.
Sanctuary Retirement Living scheme services manager Debbie Cram said: “These past few weeks have provided some fantastic activities for our residents and pupils alike. Some of our residents don’t often get to see their grandchildren or great-grandchildren, or don’t have a wider family, so it’s been wonderful for them. We’ve been delighted to host the pupils who were so well behaved and polite and we hope they’ve enjoyed themselves as much as we have.”
From this project it has been evident that children learn a lot from older people and that sessions like these can provide companionship for the older attendees and put a spring in their steps. One resident told us that it gave her a reason to get up in the mornings and another one said it made her feel young again!
We would like to thank Hazel Baker, Jenny Fletcher and Kirsty Neville for their help during the project.