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Woodstock Care Home Launches Intergenerational ‘GrandFriends’ Project with Local School

20 May 2024

Woodstock Care Home has introduced an innovative intergenerational project, ‘GrandFriends,’ in collaboration with Brisley Primary School. The initiative aims to foster connections between young children and care home residents through shared activities and mutual respect.

Recently, eight enthusiastic children from Brisley Primary School visited the residents of Woodstock Care Home for an afternoon filled with fun and games. The young volunteers brought along engaging activities such as cup stacking games, marble run towers, and various imaginary play toys. In return, the care home residents shared their favourite pastimes, including colouring activities and classic games like ‘shut the box.’

Prior to the visit, the children were educated on the importance of being respectful to the elderly residents. Their teachers emphasised the need to maintain a cheerful yet considerate atmosphere, ensuring that the noise levels remained manageable and encouraging the children to tidy up after themselves.

Throughout the session, the children exhibited remarkable enthusiasm, playing with vigour while being mindful of their elderly companions. The interaction provided a heart-warming sight as residents, all of whom are living with dementia in some form, engaged with the children. Some residents actively participated in colouring and asked questions, while others simply enjoyed watching the youthful exuberance around them.


One particularly touching moment involved a boy named Hugo, who spent the entire session with a resident. They bonded over play with animal figures and toy vehicles, culminating in a heartfelt handshake that signaled a newfound friendship.

The session concluded with a brief discussion about dementia, aimed at fostering understanding and empathy in the young volunteers. The children left with the knowledge that their visit had brought joy and playfulness to the elderly residents.

“The smiles and happy responses from the residents were a testament to the success of the session,” said Naomi Daglish, wellbeing coordinator at Woodstock. “It felt like a very caring and positive experience for everyone involved.”

The ‘GrandFriends’ project is set to continue, with another group of students, the Snowy Owls, scheduled to visit in June. The Barn Owls choir, who performed Christmas songs for the residents in December, will also have another chance to participate in the autumn term.

Woodstock Care Home and Brisley Primary School are optimistic about the ongoing impact of the ‘GrandFriends’ sessions. The initiative not only brightens the lives of the elderly residents but also provides valuable life lessons for the children, teaching them about empathy, respect, and the joy of connecting across generations.