Kicking off a new personal development project, Laneshaw Bridge Primary School are gearing up to pair reception pupils with care home residents in an inter-generational collaboration set to start next month.
Inspired by a Channel 4 documentary, Laneshaw Bridge's Deputy Headteacher, Gaynor Canty, will be running a project up until Christmas in which 10 reception children will be visiting Nelson Manor Care Home and taking part in activities with some of the residents on a weekly basis.
Hoping to demonstrate the benefits of inter-generational collaboration through the scheme, which starts on October 11th, Gaynor wants to help relieve the threats of loneliness and isolation that can have such a negative impact in care homes across the country.
"We want to offer a lifeline," explained Gaynor. "Some residents only ever see their carers; they've never been married or had children. It should be part of the curriculum: learning that when you get old, it's not the end of the journey, it's a different stage."
The project will see the reception children "buddied up" with a care home resident for weekly visits until Christmas, with ten more children doing the same over the course of the Spring term and then again during the Summer term.
"The residents are valuable people too, we want to try and make them realise their skills and positivity can offer a lot and give them something to look forward to," Gaynor said. "As well as being important for the older people, it's important for the children to aid their personal, social, and emotional development.
"There's a lot everyone can learn from their little friend."
On Thursday, October 19th, Laneshaw Bridge will be holding an open day for prospective parents and local residents, with two sessions running from 9:30am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 3:00pm.
"People are welcome to come in any time during these sessions," read a statement from the school. "Year 5 and 6 children will be leading the tours giving their perspective of the school and there will be adults on hand to answer any other questions."