The Weatheralls Primary School

Community

 Intergenerational Project - June 2019

Each Friday for the last 5 weeks, 15 pupils from reception up to year two have visited Sanctuary Retirement Living’s Millbrook House in Soham, to take part in a project initiated last year 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 have completed different activities together, including handprint painting, making biscuits, bug hunts, parachute games, planting vegetables in the allotment at Millbrook House and finally a fun session of traditional and children’s games. Each session began with a hello song and ended with stories read by the residents, nursery rhymes and songs sang together and even small performances from the children. Each session ended with a good bye song and lots of waves.

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.” One of the pupils involved in the project was asked if he thought that the residents enjoyed the children visiting them each week, he said “Oh yes it’s so special. “He was then asked how he thought it made the residents feel he replied “it makes them feel excited and happy.”

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 she has looked forward to the sessions every Friday and will miss them now they have ended and it was evident that she had a tear in her eye when saying goodbye at the last session.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers who kindly provided their time to help walk the children to Millbrook. Without them and the residents and children who took part this fantastic project could not take place.