Roebuck care home residents join children for school dinner
PUBLISHED: 14:53 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:53 16 December 2019
A Stevenage primary school opened its doors to Roebuck Nursing Home residents, who shared a meal with the children as part for an initiative by school caterers, Hertfordshire Catering Ltd.
Four of the care home's residents, along with two carers, visited Shephalbury Park Primary School in Burydale last Wednesday as part of a project that will continue to bring monthly visits to the school.
The children set up a special dining room for lunch with their guests to enjoy meals served by HCL.
On the menu was roast chicken with sage and onion stuffing and roast potatoes with seasonal vegetables with gravy and a reduced-sugar dessert.
Studies suggest this type of collaboration can decrease older people's loneliness, delay mental decline, lower blood pressure and even reduce the risk of disease or death. The project also aims to promote and narrow the intergenerational gap.
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Mr Conway, headteacher at Shephalbury, said: "We're delighted to partner with HCL and Roebuck Nursing Home. There was a really lovely atmosphere throughout the morning in the school, everyone was smiling, and the children were thrilled to see their elderly guests enjoying their favourite meal, chatting about their lives and what they enjoyed doing, and playing some games.
"As a school, we think it's important to promote intergenerational activities. The potential benefits for children include positive changes in perceptions and attitudes towards the elderly, increase in self-confidence and positive behaviour in school."
Parents of the children were very supportive of the visit saying that their children had been telling them all about their experiences and the conversations they'd had with the guest visitors.
Doreen, a resident at Roebuck Nursing Home, said: "It was a lovely lunch, in a specially decorated room by the children. The children were so well behaved, it was the highlight of my week. I enjoyed my morning spending time with the children, we spoke about their schoolwork and played a few games.
"Things have changed a lot since I was in school, with the children using more technology and remembering our school meals were never as tasty as what we ate."
If the project is successful, it will rolled out for care home residents across Stevenage.