In celebration of World Book Day and Intergenerational Week, staff from Park View Care Centre in Ashford, Kent supported residents to reminisce and evoke fond memories using technology to connect with children from Jelly Beans Day Nursery.

Usually, the residents and staff would have been enjoying visits from loved ones, going out in to their local community and also visits from performers, community groups.

However, during the pandemic the residents have become technology and Facetime experts, regularly using these methods to connect and share special moments with their loved ones. They have also used these types of technology to continue to enjoy live music sessions and connections with their local community, including Jelly Beans Day Nursery.

The importance and benefits of intergenerational relationships are well documented which is why the home is proud of its intergenerational association with Jelly Beans Day Nursery.

It was with this in mind that the team at the Nursing, Dementia and Residential Home came together to think of creative ways to keep these special connections going. Magdalena Szczesnowska explained how the home’s Lifestyle Team spoke with the residents individually and also in small groups, “some of their favourite memories came from reading to their children, grandchildren and even themselves being read too by their parents.

With World Book Day and Intergenerational Week approaching, we thought it would be a perfect idea if we could support, the residents to rediscover the joy of storytelling through reading to the children at the local nursery”. The residents chose to read the popular children’s book by Julia Donaldson ‘The Gruffalo’ with Magdalena capturing the magical moments on video. This activity was especially poignant for 95-year-old Eileen who at 16 years old was a trainee nursery assistant during World War Two looking after the children of Mum’s and Dad’s serving overseas. One of her fondest memories was reading to the children at the Nursery and now 79 years later Eileen still had the knack, bringing each character to life with various voices for each character! “I loved reading the story and making up the different voices. It has definitely brought back lots of memories and emotions from my early days as a trainee. I’ve really enjoyed being able to take part”

The team is very proud of the links they have built in their local community and the relationships that have blossomed. Home Manager, Emma Hernandez-Wyatt added ‘We are so fortunate to have Jelly Beans Day Nursery on our doorstep as the intergeneration approach brings such benefits to our residents’ wellbeing. Bringing our communities together and giving different generations the chance to learn from one another is vital in the ethos of our home. Not only can we learn from our local community, more importantly our local community can learn from the wonderful residents who live at Park View Care Centre.”