A nursery school and a care home have joined forces and the result is something magical.
Since opening in August last year, pre-school children from Busy Bees in Chichester have been making the short walk to Augusta Court in Winterbourne Road to join its residents for a host of activities up to three times a week. Cooking, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, games and the especially popular ‘oomph’ exercises go down a storm with both generations and has been benefiting all ages. “When we walk around our home and say ‘the children are coming in today’ you can see faces light up,” said Augusta manager Sam Henderson.“It’s gone from strength to strength. “Initially some of the children were quite shy but they’ve got to know all our residents now and they really love getting involved.” Many of Augusta’s residents live with dementia, and part of the link up is to dispel fears around it from a young age so future generations are better informed. Resident Des Hodnett said: “It’s fabulous, great engagement for both sides, for the kids and us too. “Some are very keen to participate, there’s one young lass particularly who likes to hold and sing into a microphone. “She’s definitely not shy, up dancing and singing, it’s fabulous.” Different ages of children take part and Hannah King from Busy Bees said: “Each morning when they come in they’ll ask ‘can we go to the care home today’. “It’s about them understanding the world, growth and how we develop and they’re learning mutual respect for others.” The private home has recently installed a Tover Tafel, an amazing interactive projector that allows residents and the children to interact with games like ‘splat the rat’ and popping paint balls on projected images on a table. And the residents themselves have voiced their satisfaction at the home, with the recent Your Care Rating survey giving Augusta Court 884 out of 1,000 in a rating by residents on the care they receive.