Residents at Ashley Court care home in Poole are benefiting from an exciting new project that brings generations together in a partnership with a local childcare group.
The home has teamed up with Hedgehogs Childcare Ltd, also based in Poole, and welcomes their group of young children into the home every week.
Hedgehogs practitioner Richard Potts visited the home in June this year to see if they would be interested in having the children come to visit. Staff at the home were keen to explore the idea and an introductory session was a huge success.
The group of up to 13 children aged from 8 months to four years now visit every week and take part in a number of activities, which residents can choose to participate in. Hedgehogs Childcare Ltd, classed as childcare on domestic premises, provides a caring and homely environment for children aged 3 months and up in a setting close to Poole Park.
The home, which is part of the Healthcare Homes group, provides residential and nursing care for up to 60 people, many of whom live with dementia, and the team have seen the positive effects this has been having for many of the residents.
Activities coordinator Alison Hardy said, “We have been delighted with how successful our project with the Hedgehogs group has been. We were keen to explore a partnership like this, which we believed would have real benefits for our residents, so when Richard came to see us we were keen to welcome the children to the home to see how our residents responded.
“From that first session back in the summer, the children have become more and more confident and at home when they visit, and the residents absolutely love it when they’re here. For many, it is the highlight of their week and the activities and entertainment that they take part in together bring smiles to so many faces.”
Manager of Hedgehogs Childcare, Fiona Whitwell said: “There are positive benefits all round to this intergenerational project – the children really enjoy visiting the home and look forward to seeing the residents, their new friends. Since we’ve been coming, the children have become familiar with the residents and there are some lovely bonds starting to form. It’s a real joy to watch the two generations come together – very heart-warming in fact – and we’re delighted to have initiated the project with Ashley Court.