TEESSIDE toddlers and elderly care home residents are taking part in mutually beneficial intergenerational sessions.
Drawing, dancing, singing and chatting brought together the youngsters at Busy Bees Nursery, in Thornaby, with residents from Ingleby Care Home, in Ingleby Barwick.
The youngsters, aged three and four years old, gave a warm welcome to the care home’s two visiting residents, Joyce Muir, 83, and Moira Hall, 79.
Despite the age difference between the groups, both have benefitted from spending time in each other’s company, which has included several previous sessions at both the nursery and care home.
Kelly Nicholson, manager at Busy Bees Nursery, said: “We have one very shy, quiet little boy. When our friends from Ingleby Care Home came over, he came right out of his shell.
“He was sat talking to Moira on the cushion, who started to bring him out of his comfort zone by chatting away, and then in no time he was taking Joyce over to the drawing board and they were chatting away on what to draw.
“He then ended the day of their visit by getting up dancing and singing away with Joyce. Staff couldn’t believe how much he had responded to the ladies and how different he was around them compared to how he is with his nursery friends.”
Kirsty Walsh, activities coordinator at Ingleby Care Home, said: “We’ve had several sessions with Busy Bees Nursery now and they’re always a lot of fun for both our residents and the children.
“This year, sessions have included pancake making and tossing as well as a sensory session, and we’re planning a picnic in the park later this year.
“Residents always enjoy spending time with them. Their energy and enthusiasm rubs off on the residents, who always come away smiling and full of life.
“We’re delighted to hear the sessions are having such a positive impact on the children as well and looking forward to further activities throughout the year.”