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The WOW Factor At Whinnieknowe

The WOW Factor At Whinnieknowe

“The concept of “non-familial intergenerational interactions” is centred around the seemingly simple idea that old and young can bring new energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to each-others’ lives. In the last 20 years or so this concept has been increasingly picked up – particularly in the US, where more and more shared care facilities are being opened.”**

This was evidenced during the recent Channel 4 two-part documentary “Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds”.

Aware of the shared care practice in the USA, Sarah Butters, Activities Coordinator at CrossReach’s Whinnieknowe Care Home in Nairn, had the idea of inviting pre-school children into the Home to spend time playing with the residents.

In August 2017, she tentatively reached out via a local community Facebook Page to see if parents would be interested in the potential of letting their children come along for playdates.  The almost immediate tidal wave of positive responses was overwhelming.

Having an existing partnership with a local family centre, Junior World (Care and Learning Alliance Child Care), Whinnieknowe manager Lynda Wilson made an approach to its manager Jayne Macintosh, who said she was delighted at the prospect of taking this initiative forward.

Jayne contacted the parents of the 150 children registered at the Family Centre and very quickly, received 70 consented responses.

Sarah then approached the residents at Whinnieknowe to ask them if they would be interested in such an initiative.  She took the time to show them the Channel 4 documentary and 6 residents said they wanted to sign up to the initiative.

In addition, Sarah and Jayne undertook a specialist Intergenerational Training Course for Trainers and Practitioners and over the months of September and October the practicalities of Health and Safety, policies, insurances and safeguarding were put in place.

On the 31st October, 6 little visitors made an enormous impact on their new friends.  Over the space of an hour, they did craft activites together. Chatting about the materials they were using and instructing each other on how to make the best pictures, it seemed that no sooner had they arrived then it was time to go.

Although in its infancy, this pilot playdate scheme is already hugely popular and the initial feedback is everyone is looking forward to the regular meetings of WOW (Wee Ones at Whinnieknowe).  

Slide show of photographs

**Combining daycare for children and elderly people benefits all generations, 04 January 2017


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