Young and old in Soham really got the bug to spend time together last week, taking part in bug hunting, hand printing, singing nursery rhymes parachute games and a picnic.
We know that many older people can at times feel lonely or isolated despite being surrounded by other people in a busy community. To help reduce loneliness and build relationships between the generations our ground-breaking Neighbourhood Cares Team have established an ‘intergenerational project’ in Soham.
Sessions brought together older people who have little contact with children, in a fun, activity based environment with a view to improving their health, wellbeing and reducing loneliness. The children who attended similarly do not have much contact with older people in their families.
To put the activities together, Soham Neighbourhood Cares team have been working with Millbrook extra care housing, Weatheralls Primary school, Care Network and the children centre, on an intergenerational project to bring young and old together.
Through the events new and long lasting relationships have flourished, one child even made a special birthday card for one of the older people. The participants enjoyment in the initiative is clear, with a reunion planned before the summer holidays.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Anna Bailey, Chairwoman of the Adults Committee said: “One of the aims of the Neighbourhood Cares pilot is to support residents to maintain their independence and quality of life.
“It’s evident that children learn a lot from older people and we hope that these sessions provide companionship for the older attendees, and put a spring in their step. The sessions have been very well received with many attendees asking for more, therefore the Neighbourhood Cares team hope to extend the project to run more.”