A trip to Muddy Boots Nursery
Through our BAB funded Communities of Interest project, Alive and Growing Support linked up Stokeleigh care home with Muddy Boots nursey, enabling the children and residents to make friends and spend time together regularly.
The project works to tackle social isolation by connecting care homes with their communities. By supporting staff and residents to actively engage with community groups, older people are increasingly able to participate in meaningful activity and connect with others in their community.
Since being introduced the children and residents meet up weekly, one week at the care home, one week at the nursery. Jenna Jefferies the nursery manager at Muddy Boots explained that having older generations come and visit the nursery has meant that the children are comfortable in interacting with a variety of age groups in the community. “The children have just really taken to it. They’ve got to know [the residents] well”.
Kelly Lewis is Activities Coordinator at Stokeleigh and has seen a marked improvement in the mood of the residents since their involvement in the project. “It’s made my job a lot easier as [the residents] are a lot happier. It’s something to look forward to and they focus on that quite a lot. Even the ones that don’t go over there, they’re waiting for the days that [the children] come here”.
It's been a joy to see how powerful the visits are for the individuals in the group living with dementia. Interacting through play and conversation, often using objects to support discussion, has enabled the residents to focus on completing shared tasks and the building of relationships with the children.
A lasting relationship
The relationship between the care home and the nursery is now fully developed and sustainable, with both partners making plans for the future to coincide with the arrival of spring. There's been talk of Teddy bears picnics and joint sports days which the residents, staff and children are eager to arrange!
The project will continue without the need for any input from Alive as both Kelly from Stokeleigh and Jenna from Muddy Boots manage the partnership and are committed to ensuring its success. Relationships that grow and evolve past the need for our input are the ideal outcome of the Communities of Interest project, so this has been a perfect result. We'll be bringing you more updates from how this relationship develops.