The impact and health benefits of Colchester Up on residents
Since the ColchesterUp Project started in October, we have had regular weekly (sometimes more) visits from two amazing toddler groups, Little Beginnings and Bambinos. Initially we looked at some inter-generational learning using technology (a tablet donated by Tesco), which has rapidly expanded to residents helping the children in reading and play. These sessions are normally an hour a week but very often go on longer as no one seems to be able to say goodbye! The residents have become so enamoured with the children that they have taking to organising their own sessions, funding a party and changing their appointments to accommodate the children's visits! I've also noticed the maternal side of the female residents involved and it's wonderful to see them nurturing and sharing their knowledge."
One resident, Barbara, used to be a teacher, but had not actually verbalised anything other than "help me" since arriving at the home six months ago. Well, now the children are here regularly, she is often found having a little chat and the difference to her mental health has been a wonder.
The residents latest idea is to create a "cinema room", where they have funded the purchase of popcorn and a movie and they're all going to sit together and enjoy watching "Up!"
We just love how this simple project has brought the community into our home, as without it, we'd just be a building on the street. Now we're part of something bigger.
As a footnote, since the ColchesterUp project started, not one single resident attending the sessions has suffered a fall, had a visit to A&E, had an ambulance called or an unplanned visit to hospital. So thank you FaNs, and thank you to all the wonderful children bringing so much joy into our little world.
This is what Pearl has to tell you all.
I really enjoy the kids coming, it's the highlight of my week. There are no bad parts to it! They love it when I read them books and play with the Lego and the Playdoh, (I had to pick some dried Playdoh off my arms when I went to my Doctors appointment last week!). I'm so happy knowing the kids are coming every week. I know I struggle with my mobility, but I continue to try to be as mobile as possible so I can independently go down to see them when they arrive! Oh, and by the way, did you know that they call me "Nanny Pearl"?
Margaret Brodie & Pearl (75), Activities Officer & Resident, Foxburrow Grange Care Home