A joint activities-based programme being run by St John’s Moorside care home and the Yellow Dot Nursery in Winchester is bringing joy and other benefits to the elderly care home residents and the nursery children.
Called ‘Smiling Together’, the programme involves a group of children and staff from Yellow Dot Nursery visiting Moorside care home one afternoon every fortnight and spending time engaged together in activities such as singing, music & movement, arts & crafts, games and baking. As the warmer weather arrives, they will also be engaging in outdoor activities including gardening and enjoying visits from farm animals.
St John’s Moorside Matron/Manager, Deborah Macartney, said: “After the great success of a few taster sessions last year, we have now decided to make this a regular event so that it features within our activities programme. As a respected care provider, we are increasingly seeing the many benefits of bringing children and older people together, and this is especially true in the case of people who are living with dementia.
“Our residents are thoroughly enjoying the children’s visits; they look forward to them coming and it’s wonderful to see how their faces light up as they interact with the children and take part in the activities. We are so grateful to Yellow Dot for helping us make this dream a reality.”
Yellow Dot Nursery Manager in Winchester, Kathryn Jones, added: “A key part of the Yellow Dot philosophy is our commitment to providing our children with a rich and varied range of experiences. Smiling Together is a lovely way of building relationships between our youngsters and the older people who live close by. It is a pleasure to see how much the children enjoy mixing with the residents and working together on activities, and also to receive such a warm welcome from everyone at Moorside.”
Yellow Dot Nursery, which has 12 nurseries across Hampshire, provides funding and support for its chosen charity, a nursery in Kisumu, Kenya. Kathryn Jones said: “On top of this valuable overseas support, we also like to help local charities, so we plan to involve the children and staff in fundraising ideas throughout the year to help support the wonderful work of St John’s Winchester.”