Residents at Birch Green Care Home were recently joined by children from St James’ Primary School.
On their visit, sixteen year one pupils from the home’s local school chatted away with residents, talking about lots of topics such as the weather as well as both generations sharing their life stories with each other.
This was the first of many visits from the Key Stage One of St James’ school in Ashurst, as the schoolchildren will be attending these interactive sessions on a regular basis.
There are many great benefits of youngsters visiting the elderly and research has proven that these visits enable great interaction and can decrease older people’s sense of loneliness, delay mental decline, lower blood pressure and even reduce the risk of disease.
Gill Seddon, Activities Co-ordinator at Birch Green said: “It’s a great to see the different generations interacting and getting along so well and the benefits have been medically proven to boost the wellbeing of those living in care homes. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we will look forward to welcoming them back soon.”
Both the residents and the schoolchildren had a great time with a fun-filled day including lots of activities, from clay modelling and painting to drawing and board games. On their visit a cooked lunch was provided - chicken nuggets, chips and beans followed by ice cream and sprinkles that went down a real treat.
They finished the afternoon with a good old sing song and a couple of solo performances.
Mrs Blacoe, Headteacher at St. James' said: "After watching the Channel 4 programme Old People's Homes for Four Year Olds we were inspired to reach out to the local community and make links with the elderly residents at Birch Green.
“The links we have made are having a huge impact on both the school and the residents in the care home. The children are eager to return, next month, to see their 'new friends'. We aim to make this a regular part of our school curriculum."
Shelley Lee, year one teacher at St James’ Catholic Primary School, said: “The children had a wonderful time. The staff were so welcoming and made the children feel at ease straight away. They were able to chat and sing with the residents within a short time of being there.
“When returning back to school, a lot of the children told their parents how much they had enjoyed the day at the care home and wanted to visit at the weekend. The children are excited to return in February and to perform a little something for everyone.”
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