An extraordinary project between a nursery and care home in Melton creating significant benefits to the two generations taking part has been showcased at a special conference.
The Joining the Generations project was inspired by the Channel 4 series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and has seen children from Little Stars Nursery make weekly visits to nearby Gretton Court Care Home.
The two generations join together for inspiring sessions of intergenerational play, where the children and residents enjoy music, singing and a range of other activities, bringing health and wellbeing benefits for the residents and developing empathy and communication skills in the youngsters.
Laura Sanders, owner and manager of Little Stars, has spearheaded the project and has been keen to share the success of the model with others in order to inspire similar intergenerational link-ups.
Therefore, with sponsorship from Central England Co-op which has been a keen supporter of the project, the first Joining the Generations conference took place at the Salvation Army Centre in Wigston, attended by a range of interested parties, including local government and early years and elderly care providers.
Laura, who was keynote speaker at the conference, said: “We have been so overwhelmed by the success of the project and with the really tangible benefits that have resulted from joining together with Gretton Court.
“The children really enjoy the sessions, they see it as a party but actually the learning benefits are huge as well, developing their gross motor skills and fine motor skills through the kinds of activities we do in the sessions.
“The model that we have developed is tried and tested, and it was fantastic to share that with others at the Joining the Generations conference so they could see the long-term benefits this model brings to both young and old alike and hopefully utilise it themselves.”
Karen Bevan, member and community relations officer at Central England Co-operative, which sponsored the event, opened the conference and spoke about why the society wished to support the project.
She said: “Central England Co-operative welcomes the opportunity to work with local communities to make a difference to people’s lives and that is why we are happy to support this truly pioneering project.
“I hope those who attended the conference really got a feel for the wonderful impact the project has had and are inspired to see whether this model could work for them.”
To view a film showing the project in action visit https://youtu.be/8X-edkBxqyA