Channel 4 programme inspires Worthing toddler visits to care home

Children from Little Rascals Day Nursery in Worthing are enjoying play dates with a difference as they spend time getting to know residents at a nearby care home.

Children from Little Rascals nursery spent the afternoon drawing fireworks with residents of St George's Lodge care home
Children from Little Rascals nursery spent the afternoon drawing fireworks with residents of St George's Lodge care home

These weekly visits are hopefully the start of some new friendships with people living at St George’s Lodge Residential Care Home in Chesswood Road.

Similar to the TV programme Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds on Channel 4, residents sang along to nursery rhymes, helped with arts and crafts and played fun games with the children from the nursery, which is on the same road.

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Linda Young, registered manager, said: “I love the idea, I saw it on TV and think it is a brilliant idea for our residents.”

The older children from the nursery, aged three and four, spent time doing drawings of fireworks to break the ice and took it in turns to say their names, although it may take a few more weeks before they manage to learn everyone’s.

Emma Wood, head of administration for the care home, said: “We feel this has benefited our residents tremendously and has helped to improve mood and reduce loneliness and isolation.

“I believe the children have also enjoyed the company of our residents and are always excited to show us new songs and dances they have recently learned.”

The same children are going to visit every week, so the two generations can get to know each other. The children were shy when they first arrived, but began to warm up and chat to the residents after a little while, and they all said they are excited to return.

The residents also enjoyed a singing visit from the children as part of harvest celebrations last month.

Mandy Hawkins, St George’s Lodge activities coordinator, said: “This brings the residents out to join in and it is lovely to see the interactions.

“This is something we have been planning for a while, and when we saw the programme it seemed great. Our residents look forward to it every week, it is lovely to hear and see and is good for both sides.”

The care home and day nursery teams are planning to introduce lots of different activities to these sessions, and they hope these visits will continue to bring the two generations together and increase their confidence.