Children from Brough pre-school visited Eden Housing Association’s Assisted Living Scheme at Mill Gardens, Kirkby Stephen, to raise awareness of the benefits of engagement between different generations. They also found time to challenge each other to some mini Olympic fun and games. Games included, Welly wanging, Hook-a-Duck and Bowling – great fun was had by all!
Debi Wilkinson, Activity Co-Ordinator for Eden Housing Association, said “Here at Mill Gardens we strive to encourage our tenants to stay active and maintain a healthy, sociable lifestyle and remain as independent as they can for as long as they can. Intergenerational engagement has been shown to have a great effect on mood, attitude, self-esteem and confidence. Our tenants have really enjoyed the children and the staff at Brough pre-school coming into Mill Gardens.”
Last year Channel 4’s Old people’s home for four year olds brought together the very young and the very old in an attempt to prove scientifically that these two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the older residents for the better.
The results showed quite extraordinary benefits for both parties, with the biggest change seen in the elderly. The children’s visits resulted in a more positive outlook, improved health both physical and mental, and a positive can do attitude.
Debi said “From watching the programme, tenants reported that they felt needed, appreciated, and recognised that they had a purpose. With huge boosts to their self-esteem and confidence, strong bonds were made with the children. Eden Housing Association is committed to supporting intergenerational opportunities and believes there are mutual benefits for both the children and adults involved – it is important for older people and children to mix. The children can learn to understand older people and the older people take joy from reminiscing and sharing stories.
Working with Barbara Wilson, staff and children from the nursery has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience for all our tenants. Our tenants were delighted with the children’s visits, and will no doubt laugh and talk about their visit for weeks to come.”
For more information on Eden Housing Association’s Assisted Living Schemes contact Gill Walton, Supported Housing Manager on 07841 864982.