Children help older residents stay young at heart

Release Date: 10-Jul-2012
Residents from Lyn Royd retirement living scheme in Linthwaite, West Yorkshire have teamed up with children from nearby Linthwaite Clough School in a new project that involves different generations learning together.

Playing bingo together

Playing bingo together

Children from Years 5, 6 and 7 joined the elderly residents to sing a medley of old songs including classics like “Any Old Iron,” “Supercalifragilistic” and “We’ll meet again.” They also played bingo together and shared with each other how they had celebrated the Jubilee.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was when resident Willie Haigh, a former pupil at the school, remembered the Linthwaite Clough School song, which he recited to the children. Together, they then performed a call and response version of the song. The music teacher was thrilled that a long lost song had been remembered and invited Willie to join their choir practice to teach it to the children.

The project is organised by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH), which first approached the school with the idea of establishing stronger links with its retirement grange. A key aim is to forge relationships between the different generations who can both learn from each other.

According to Willie Haigh, the day brought back memories of his own school days. He continued: “the children were so well-behaved, it was a pleasure to have them at Lyn Royd. We all enjoyed the get together and are looking forward to the next visit.”

Year 6 pupil Marrisa Suffir said: “I loved singing with the residents. It was good fun and talking together, they have so many good stories and I like listening to them.”

Carol Crossley, who manages KNH’s Older People’s Support Service, said: “Social activities for older residents are important for their physical and emotional well being.

“We’re particularly keen to reduce the isolation older people sometimes feel, and these kinds of projects are a great way of helping them feel part of the wider community. We also know from the schools that the young people also benefit from being with the elderly.

Cllr Cathy Scott, the Cabinet member responsible for housing, said, “A key priority for the council is to help older people live life to the full. Through projects like this one, KNH is helping to make that possible for hundreds of older tenants and residents across Kirklees.”

If you’d like to find out more about KNH’s Older People’s Service, please ring 01484 416444.