The nursery children and staff took up the challenge to join the residents, Community Hub club members and staff at their Monday coffee morning and also their Thursday Art Class via a video call. The benefits of the intergenerational mix of residents and children is so apparent. It brings a sense of well-being to all concerned. There is always a lot of chatter and laughter and sharing of stories between the generations. During lockdown, the children have continued to be regular visitors to Otterbourne Hill, walking around the grounds and waving to residents through their windows.
The community hub club members and residents very much enjoy chatting to the nursery children and staff and all look forward to this encounter, no matter how brief. The children love to share their tales too, such as their gardening plans for the day, their favourite books they have enjoyed reading and their latest artistic displays. They also like to compare their modern school days to what school used to be like.
Vilma Patrizio, Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill Community Hub Manager, said,
“It was like a breath of fresh air when the children popped up on our screens. It was such a pleasant surprise for residents and members as they were unaware it was going to happen. It was such a lovely way to start our Monday morning.
“We listened as the children told us what they’d eaten for breakfast and they also shared their nursery plans for the day. We were serenaded with twinkle, twinkle, little star and a rendition of wind the bobbin up to which we sang along to. A sing along wouldn’t be the same without a firm favourite… wait for it….. Father Christmas, Father Christmas … he got stuck! We all chuckled but most likely inwardly groaned as we thought, CHRISTMAS!!!! Of course we all loved every minute and applauded this very personal performance put on just for us!
“I love listening to the residents’ comments, such as, ‘I love listening to the children’, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could just bottle up their energy and their smiles’ and ‘They are a real tonic’.
“We look forward to our continued and successful partnership with Bright Horizons Nursery and thank the children and staff for so readily getting involved with us and can’t wait for visits to resume inside Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill in the near future, as well as displaying our art work for them. There is always a real buzz in the air after the children leave and they continue to be a topic of conversation for the rest of the day!
“The residents always have fascinating stories to tell of their past and the school children who visit love to listen and learn. One resident had met Nixon, another met the Queen and another whose mother was part of the Suffragette movement. Their eyes have seen, their hearts have lived and sharing their history keeps their memories alive.”
Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill, is run by the Winchester based charity, The Brendoncare Foundation, and offers three core services: a 64 bed care home providing nursing and dementia care, respite and end of life care; 20 purpose-built apartments for individuals and couples affected by dementia, enabling them to live together in their own home with ‘shared’ care, and a friendly community and resource hub providing a dynamic and friendly space for residents and people from the local community.
More information about Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill can be found on the charity’s website www.brendoncare.org.uk, 01962 679649, firstname.lastname@example.org