Care home residents and school children in Alloa have taken part in a joint sports day at Meallmore Group’s Parklands home, as part of an intergenerational programme.
Residents and staff from Parklands hosted the event at the care home, located on Alloa Park Drive, with Primary 7 pupils from St Mungo’s RC Primary School.
The two generations came together for sports day classics including a relay and an egg and spoon race, as well as other sports day-themed events.
The sports day was the most recent event of their intergenerational programme which has been running since November 2022. Every week, pupils from the school visit those living at Parklands. Together, residents and children spend time chatting, playing games, reading, painting, and listening to music.
Since the programme’s inception, residents and pupils have formed ties and learnt to appreciate the other generation in new, different ways.
Studies show that intergenerational programmes not only benefit older people by lowering social isolation and providing a sense of purpose, but also benefit young people – and by extension, communities – by transforming perceptions and reducing ageism.
Rick Murray, Area Manager for Meallmore said: “Creating meaningful activities and lifestyle options is a huge part of the work we do at Meallmore. This intergenerational programme at Parklands helps residents build up new relationships and allows them to share experiences and their life stories with younger people.
“Welcoming the pupils is a weekly highlight and is a real benefit to our residents and colleagues, but it also allows the children to learn. It helps them to challenge some of the perceptions of what happens when you get older, as well as break down preconceptions of care home living. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
Meghan Walker, teacher at St Mungo’s RC Primary School said: “At the start of the programme, the children were a bit apprehensive and shy as they didn’t know what to expect. But since last November, they’ve built up great relationships with the residents and now have strong, intergenerational friendships.
“All our pupils very much enjoy chatting and playing with the residents and love their weekly visits; Parklands almost feels like their second home now! The school is very thankful for this local, community partnership with Meallmore.”
Eric Burnside, resident at Parklands Care Home added: “The programme with the school is great; the children are wonderful, and they light up the place and bring us so much joy.
“I really enjoyed the sports day. I might have cheated in the race though as I’m not going to get shown up by these youngsters!”