Rivermede Court in Egham has teamed up with Little Muddy Boots to provide intergenerational gardening and nature classes to its residents and under four year olds in the local community.
The launch session, which took place on 20 March was a huge success, involving almost 30 residents and 11 children – some who were great grandchildren of the residents. Participants planted radishes in Rivermede Court’s garden and enjoyed outdoor, nature-inspired arts and craft activities.
The hour long classes will run fortnightly, on a Monday morning from 17 April to 22 May. They are aimed at residents and their family members as well as local toddlers and pre-schoolers with their parents and carers. There will also be some additional sessions with Rivermede Court residents at Jealotts Hill Community Landshare in Warfield.
Hanka Vlhova, Activities Co-Ordinator at Rivermede Court said,
“This is a wonderful initiative and from the outset we could see how engaging it was for participants of all ages. It is a great way for young children to learn more about nature and for our residents to share their love of gardening and enjoy outdoor activities. As part of this programme, the young children and their parents or carers are paired with a resident for the whole term so they really get to build a special bond at the same time as learning about gardening, nature, enjoying crafting and much more.
“We are very proud to be able to open our doors up to the local community in this way – and we hope people will get in touch if they have young children and would like to join us for our intergenerational gardening and nature classes. We are planning to enter some categories at the Windsor Flower Show with some of the flowers and vegetables we have grown.”
The sessions are created by Hannah Brewer, Founder of Little Muddy Boots, who set up her company to offer gardening, nature and forest school classes for 1-6 year olds and to teach families about the importance and wonder of nature and the outdoors. In partnership with Rivermede Court, she has expanded these sessions to the elderly community, enabling care home residents and young children and their parents and carers to share thoughts and experiences about the joy of the outdoors.
Hannah Brewer explains,
“It is well documented that getting out in nature has a positive effect on mental and physical health, but research has also shown that intergenerational classes help older and younger generations. These classes help the older generation with social interaction, helping them to feel connected to the wider community. For the younger generation, they help with listening skills, education, motivation, and self-esteem.
“Working with Rivermede Court, part of the Cinnamon Care Collection, is a great collaboration between two companies who are passionate about mental wellbeing. I set up Little Muddy Boots to create opportunities for children to spend quality time with their families outdoors. This collaboration with Rivermede Court is a fantastic opportunity to spread these benefits across generations and build wonderful connections within the community. Research has shown that the majority of children play outside for less than an hour a day, less than a third of the time enjoyed by their grandparents’ generation. Little Muddy Boots is determined to change this figure and this partnership gives us even greater scope to achieve this goal.”