"How many sleeps until the Grandmas come back?" is just one of the many questions our children have been asking since our very first inter-generational care session at Little Blossoms Childcare, in North Shields. We have exclusively teamed up with Chirton Lodge, part of Anchor Hanover to bring two generations together, inspired by the television programme, "Old People’s Home for Four-Year Olds".
Our first session was held on 5th December and was just magical. The residents of Chirton Lodge, aka "the Grandmas" and the children of Little Blossoms met and naturally gravitated towards each other. Glittery baubles were painted, sparkly snow was explored, Christmas stories were shared and some superb structures were built together. It was so lovely to see special memories being created before us. One of the residents, Eivin said, “I’m off to the pub covered in glitter later!”
We surprised the residents with a two-course home-made Christmas lunch, where crackers were pulled, party poppers popped and music and laughter shared. The residents helped to cut the children’s lunches and even encouraged them to try the sprouts! A huge thank you to our Chef, Janice Conolly for her culinary skills!
I really wanted to bring the two generations together, and Natalie Johnstone, Manager at Chirton Lodge, was on board straight away. Inter-generational care sessions are very current, and we wanted to bring the benefits of this to the people of North Shields.
Inter-generational care can help to prevent isolation and loneliness in older adults, it is the perfect opportunity for young and old to learn from each other, it can build a stronger community, give older people a sense of purpose and helps younger people have a greater respect for the older generation. It can also help to keep stories and history alive.
We are proud to have been commended by Alistair Bryce-Clegg who worked on "Old People’s Home for Four-Year Olds" and we are so grateful to Brannen and Partners and our anonymous sponsor known only as The Geordie Exile for their generous sponsorship, which enabled us to create these events. Thank you also to North Shields Quality Butchers for donating the turkey and pigs in blankets, which were very well received by all!
The “Grandmas” and children have been on cloud nine since meeting and haven’t stopped talking about our next get together, which is being held on 19th December. It will be our Christmas party, where we will be enjoying a music session with pram-a-lama-sing-song, eating party food and meeting Santa Claus! The “Grandmas” are going to be wrapping presents for the children from Santa and the children have made very special gifts and cards in return. We will be able to share the joy of Christmas together once more.