19th March 2019 — St Hilary’s Preparatory School has teamed up with Jubilee House Care Home in Godalming as part of a new outreach project to promote intergenerational work between young children and people living with dementia. The four year olds from the school’s Kindergarten class visited the care home’s residents and will continue to do so on a weekly basis. It is believed that regular contact between the two generations will be of great benefit to both pupils and residents alike.
Following the first visit, Mrs Gemma Mitchell, Deputy Headmistress at St Hilary’s says “The children were exceptional. They showed courage and confidence in the new environment and enjoyed the adventure of travelling in the school minibus. Congratulations to our pupils who communicated and played so well with the Jubilee House residents. It was clear to see that both the children and adults felt rewarded and enjoyed the experience.”
Mrs Jane Whittingham, Headmistress of the school on Holloway Hill says “we are delighted to have teamed up with Jubilee House for this important intergeneration initiative. Since becoming a dementia friendly school, we are keen to play our part in changing people’s perceptions of dementia and remove the stigma attached to it. We believe our pupils will benefit from the new experience and that it will help them in their language development, building relationships and boost their confidence as well as giving them empathy for the older generation. We hope the residents in turn should reap the benefits of interacting with the children. We understand that the contact with the children will enable them to feel less isolated, support their memories, help them feel valued and encourage improved health benefits, both mentally and physically.”
Totka Zhelyazkova, home manager at Jubilee House, said: “The residents and care home team loved welcoming the children from St Hilary’s Preparatory School. Here at Jubilee House, we support residents to lead fulfilling and active lives, and are always looking for innovative ways to involve residents in activities and encourage new friendships.”
“The first session was a great opportunity to create special bonds across the generations – young and older people alike really benefit from the social interaction. The communication, interactions and affection between the residents and the children was incredibly moving to see – they loved spending time with each other. We look forward to our future weekly visits from our new friends at St Hilary’s Preparatory School.”