An over 55s village in Stoke has opened its doors to nursery children inspired by the Channel 4 documentary, ‘Old people’s home for 4 year olds’.
West End Village, an independent living village ran by Staffordshire Housing, has fortnightly visits from some of the children from Field House Nursery.
Together, the residents and the children take part in various activities, from gardening and making bird feeders, to reading stories and learning new songs.
Pauline Hancock is a West End Village resident and looks forward to the nursery’s visit: “I love it when they come to visit. They’re all very nice children and we have a lot of fun together. We have stories and we sing songs, which is nice.”
Jan Garner, Activities Coordinator at West End Village organises the visits. She said: “Everyone really benefits from the visits. We do a story time, which the children seem to enjoy and we do some action songs, where the children teach the residents the actions and it’s great to see them getting involved, active and participating.”
“With the residents, it gives them something to look forward to and they feel useful and like they’re doing something good to help the children. Its smiles all round.”
Sue Clowes, a West End Village resident, comes down to see the children when they visit and take part in the activities. She said: “It’s nice to see all their different personalities as well and how they react with different people and different situations.”
Another resident, Maureen Follows, said: “It’s lovely when the children come to visit. My great-granddaughter goes to the nursery so sometimes she comes with the group too and that’s always nice.”
Jody Underwood, Nursery Practitioner at Field House explains the benefits the visits have on the children too: “It’s really good for the children to help build their confidence and to be around other people and they just really enjoy coming down and engaging with the residents. The children love it.”
All the activities are tailored to meet the themes on the nursery’s curriculum. Jan Garner, Activities Coordinator at West End Village explains: “At the moment they’re doing being healthy and keeping fit, so we’re doing a gardening project with them. When they change to the next theme, we will change our activities here too.”