IW schools encouraged to link with care homes

Hand of old person holding hand of kid. Old Age Concept.

Schools on the Island are being encouraged to become Care Home Friends in a new scheme to bring together children and older people.

The project is a partnership from organisations, My Home Life England and The Linking Network.

Tom Owen, of My Home Life England, said: “Intergenerational work can boost children’s self-esteem, broaden their world view and improve empathy and understanding of others.

“Both children and older people can get so much out of a relationship with each other, but their contact can be very limited. This project helps to build links with care homes – a part of the community schools might not otherwise engage with – and equally helps care homes feel more connected to their local community.”

Aimed at children aged 5-14, the challenge activities have been developed by teachers and are embedded in the National Curriculum. Global Intergenerational Week, which started Monday (April 25), is the start of a 10-week programme through to Care Home Open Week. Worksheets will be issued weekly, offering schools regular activities for Key Stages One, Two and Three.

Linda Cowie, director of The Linking Network, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for more children to get involved in social action and make a positive difference in their communities. We give schools information about how to make contact with their local care home and we’ve put together activities that are engaging and fun, supporting children to think more about different generations and create something special for a nearby care home.

“It’s vital for pupils to feel that they are part of a wider community and this is a great way to connect them in a safe, structured and organised way.”

Signing up to the ‘Become a Care Home Friend’ challenge is free. Visit myhomelife.org.uk/challenge to register.