Friendships flourish across the years in Hitchin as care home residents visit nursery children

PUBLISHED: 16:52 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:52 06 October 2017

Frankie Green, Joseph Entwisle and friends welcome Betty Hull to Hitchin's York Road Nursery School. Picture: Ruth Cotterill

Frankie Green, Joseph Entwisle and friends welcome Betty Hull to Hitchin's York Road Nursery School. Picture: Ruth Cotterill

Archant

Friendships flourished across the generations in Hitchin as care home residents donated box horses they had made to a nursery school.

Olwyn Peters, three, rides Bridal horse with 'bridesmaids' Teagan Minhas and Jasmine Nott, both three. Picture: Ruth Cotterill Olwyn Peters, three, rides Bridal horse with 'bridesmaids' Teagan Minhas and Jasmine Nott, both three. Picture: Ruth Cotterill

The quartet from Milford Lodge Care Home in Priory End, aged between 89 and 96, presented the children at York Road Nursery School with six cardboard box horses they and others at the lodge had created as part of an activity day.

Ivy Bunyan, 96, Cath Noble, 90, Dorothy Ansell, 89, and 96-year-old Betty Hull came with lodge staff Kate Peto and Heidi Goodwin to hand their creations over to the children – who sang them songs and ran around the nursery dressed in the box horses.

The horses, made as part of a Day at the Races activity led by Milford Lodge’s Kate Peto, followed themes – bridal horse, Jamaican horse, crafty horse, pink horse, garden horse and a cat.

Staff from both the school and the care home were impressed by the strong connection that people at such different stages of life can have.

Joshua Pooni at York Road Nursery School. Picture: Ruth Cotterill Joshua Pooni at York Road Nursery School. Picture: Ruth Cotterill

Three-year-old Joshua Pooni formed an immediate bond with Ivy, as he stood by her and held her hand – telling her: “Your hands are bumpy!”

York Road teacher Ruth Cotterill said: “The response from both the very elderly and very young was incredibly positive. They all had so much fun.

“The children had opportunities to talk to our guests, gain confidence and begin to understand a little about the lives of others. We will be looking for more opportunities to bridge the age gap.”

Kate said that at Milford Lodge the next day, “the atmosphere was buzzing”.

“Our ladies remembered details from their visit,” she said.

“All the residents enjoyed looking at the photographs.”

The team at Milford Lodge are looking at organising a toddler group so that young and old can come together on a regular basis.

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