A new Alive session - Access All Ages

Access All Ages is a new Alive intergenerational activity session. It works by linking a school with a local care home, pairing a group of children with a group of older people. The children come for regular visits at the care home where they take part in hands-on artistic activities with their partners. 

During a recent visit at a Bristol care home we met a lady called Bea, who was eagerly waiting with five other residents for the children to arrive. “I’m waiting for my friend Edward” she told us, “Edward’s coming to see me!”. Bea and Edward have formed a strong bond through taking part in Access All Ages and both greatly look forward to the visits. On arrival Edward walks confidently up to Bea and the pair begin chatting, as do all the children and their partners. To see them interact you’d be forgiven for thinking they were a group of old friends having a catch-up.

A surprise visit

Edward’s teacher told us there was a visit he was upset about having to miss due to a school football match. He really enjoys painting with Bea and decided to paint her a picture to say sorry he couldn’t come to see her. Edward’s teacher drove him to see Bea after his football match, so he could give her the painting in person.  Bea was so thrilled with the surprise visit, she and Edward spent ages talking, and she hung the painting on her wall, where it still remains.  This is a wonderful example of the type of friendship that can develop between the generations and why integrating care home residents with their local community, in ways they want and need, is so beneficial.

Nurturing friendships

At the end of Access All Ages sessions we invite the participants to offer suggestions for activities they may like to try in the future, which ensures the activities are always user led. Some of the suggestions we’ve had so far are: knitting, making cards for loved ones, sketching and painting watercolour sunsets. Over the coming months we’ll facilitate sessions around these themes and art-forms, enabling people to express themselves creatively whilst growing and nurturing special friendships, like that of Bea and Edward.