Toddlers in care homes is hugely successful, and the ColchesterUP project aims to take it further, with inter-generational learning, learning in shared play and an opportunity to create friendships

So much fun and laughter with our GrandFriends, this time at Foxburrow Grange, Colchester

Young FaNs Club initiatives have been developed for the under 18s. Within that we have also created a successful Pre-school age intergenerational model, with the #ColchesterUP project - successfully trialled in one Care Home initially as an intergenerational technology project (with Samsung Tablet Computers donated by our partnership with Tesco).

It quickly became much more than this as the Childminded visitors (nursery & childminding groups) developed real relationships with their new ‘grand-friends’ and all sorts of play, learning and laughter has been the result. The older people really look forward to Mondays and Thursdays when the children visit, and the Care Home staff report Nanny Pearl, Nanny Helga etc have been inspired to keep as fit and active as possible to enjoy their interactions with the children. We now have 3 Colchester Homes with #UP visiting youngsters and hope to expand this in the Clacton area.

Up children and residents enjoy a dog visit

When we’ve spoken to older people in care homes the two things they absolutely love are visits from Children and Animals. Sometimes we can do both!

An additional benefit for both Residents and the Pre-School groups has been the number of other volunteers coming forward to share ‘child friendly’ experiences within the Care Home for all ages. For examples, FaNs volunteers who bring animals (our FaNimals!) to visit when both the children and the residents can enjoy this together.

We also know that by sharing and demonstrating the impact of this via our Fans Network Facebook page, other Care Homes have been encouraged to seek out their own links with local pre-school groups.

If you are a nursery or pre-school group or childminder and you would like to explore links with your local care home why not give them a call or contact us and we will help with the initial contact!