SMART Cranleigh brings together local people who have a heart for their community to connect and support the social fabric of the community. One of our objectives is to facilitate and introduce likeminded people of all ages to initiate projects that meet a need and make a positive social impact on Cranleigh and the surrounding villages. Wellbeing and quality of life is a missing plank from what could be a comprehensive neighbourhood plan focusing on the human experience of living in a place.
Intergenerational connectivity is an important part of preventing loneliness in a society that has become increasingly siloed. Families are often separated and some children seldom see grand parents and great grandparents. Relationships are at the heart of a good life and it is wonderful to see the joy that is shared between the youngest and oldest members of our community.
BIRTLEY HOUSE NURSING HOME WELCOMES LITTLE HARRIERS NURSERY CHILDREN The first three Intergenerational visits of 6-8 youngsters from Little Harriers Nursery School to Birtley House Nursing Home have been extremely successful for both parties, and have given a great deal of fun and enjoyment, which is clearly obvious by the sounds of happy laughter and chatter between the young and not-so-young! One of our Residents commented that the children’s visits had been “very energising”!
The children, who are aged between 3-4, come for an hour once a month, with their teachers, and a different activity is planned for each visit. In November both age groups drew some firework pictures, in December the children performed their delightful Nativity Play, in fact it was performed twice as the Residents enjoyed it so much, and in January some Winter Playdough was brought for modelling. The children are delightful with our Residents and seem to be so relaxed with them. We definitely look forward to an on-going relationship with Little Harriers, and feel that these visits have very positive benefits to both our Residents and the youngsters. (Caroline Whalley, Birtley House)
Comment from the leader of the nursery school, Lucy Verbrugge demonstrates the value of worthwhile iniatives such as this:
‘My view on the time we spend at Birtley, is that the whole relationship between us has been so positive for both the children and the residents of Birtley. The children get so excited before they leave for Birtley – they all enjoy the planned activities, but actually you cannot plan for all of the extra wonderful exchanges that are not pre-empted. For example, one resident brings her collection of owl ornaments down to show the children – and they are in awe of this collection! The children are becoming increasingly more confident with each visit, and now run in to greet the residents and are keen to join in the activities on offer. I am very keen for our visits to continue and see the relationships flourish’. (Little Harriers Feb 2018)