Perfect ingredients for friendship

Nursery toddlers help to keep residents young at heart

Making friends is on the menu at an Abbeyfield Scotland residential home in Coatbridge, thanks to regular visits by children from a local nursery.

Genuine friendships have been forged as toddlers and adults alike look forward to the get-togethers with youngsters from the nearby Preschool Academy.

During the latest visit, the pals rolled up their sleeves in a Great British Bake Off-style challenge. Other activities have included storytelling, painting and gardening.

Resident Jean Hunter said: “We all love the visits. It’s a pleasure to see the children as they have such a positive outlook and seem to love spending time with us too.

“It’s a great idea and something that other homes and nurseries should do. The baking event was great fun – and really messy!”

The visits are the brainchild of Linda Murdoch, Abbeyfield Scotland Area Supervisor, as part of an engagement programme to give residents an active social life.

She said: “I had the idea after watching the Channel 4 show, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. I contacted the nursery and they were more than happy to come along.

“It gives the residents yet another activity to look forward to and staff say they’re especially lively as they wait for their young guests to arrive. The visits help keep everyone young at heart.”

The children have visited every second Friday for the past few months, and the charity recently received a grant from the Voluntary Action Fund for a new sandpit, games, books and art equipment.

Nursery manager Claire Anderson said: “Friendship crosses so many barriers and it’s so important for our children to meet, play and bake with older people at the home.

“The children love their visits and have already made some great friends. We’d recommend this kind of initiative to any nursery or residential home.”

*Since this article was written, Jean Hunter sadly passed away. Her family has given permission for her image to be used in this article.