Intergenerational friendships at Blair House
Over the past three years, children from West Winds Primary School have been visiting our Blair House Care Home. The time spent with the children has become a real source of joy for our residents, who enjoy hosting the events and look forward to seeing the children each time.
Recently, the two generations have been sharing stories about their childhoods. The primary school children have been asking our residents questions about their time at school, home life, shopping and their favourite pastimes as children. Many were fascinated by the cost of food, the idea of outdoor toilets and how differently the generation spent their leisure time, without TV and video games.
The childhood stories from both the primary school and our residents have been compiled into a book entitled ‘Your Story, My Story’.
The two generations have also worked together on art activities and cookery classes over the years. They all met artist Rosie Moore, who taught them how to use paints and weave fabrics to create bright and colourful canvasses for the home. The children and our residents have also planted flowers for the gardens together, made Christmas decorations and decorated gingerbread men.
How do these visits benefit our Blair House residents?
The intergenerational link to West Winds Primary School has become very important and a valuable part of life at Blair House.
The visits give our residents an opportunity to socialise, and the activities help with their memory and thinking skills. Seeing their stories in the final ‘Your Story, My Story’ book also gave everyone a great sense of achievement, and the residents were pleased that they had been able to enrich the lives of the younger generation. All in all, the visits from the children are a real mood booster, and help our residents to feel happy and confident.
Liz, a resident at Blair House said: “I look forward to Thursdays [when the primary school visit] and love helping the children; I think we’ve done great work together.” John, another resident, said: “I think that all these young people are fabulous. I have made some real friends. ”
When speaking about the ‘Your Story, My Story’ project, Joanne McKenzie, Activities Co-ordinator at Blair House, said: “Everyone is so proud of this book and we are delighted that stories and memories will be used as a reminiscence and social history tool, both in the home and the school. Everyone likes to tell their story and to feel valued and heard. Most of all, it was fun.
“This project began, with the help from Linking Generations, who have provided invaluable support and funding, enabled myself to access TOY (Together Young and Old) training, and helped us to continue and sustain links between Blair House and West Winds Primary School. Also I would like to mention the dedication and enthusiasm of West Winds’ Mrs Seeds, who has been a fundamental part of all our generational projects.”
How do care home visits support children’s wellbeing?
The time spent together has also been beneficial for the primary school. Katie, a student at West Winds said: “I love working with residents and always look forward to Thursdays at Blair House.”
Mrs Kerry Seeds, Class P6 teacher, said: “Our links between West Winds Primary School and Blair House have been invaluable in educating our children both for the older generation and the living history these special friends can share.”