A group of children from the 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts joined residents of Elmcroft care home for a heart-warming evening of board games and song, as part of a successful partnership initiative that is breaking down stereotypes and bringing rewards for participants from both generations.
The manager of Elmcroft, Monica Donald, extended the invitation to the group of Beavers – members of the Sea Scouts aged between six and eight years old – having previously met their leader at an event last year.
Research has consistently shown that promoting direct contact between people from different generations has a range of positive benefits for both groups. In a review of research carried out over more than a decade, Age UK found that these interactions can foster improved attitudes amongst young people, reducing ageism and encouraging helpful behaviours in the future, like making charity donations and getting involved in volunteering.
Intergenerational friendships are the most powerful form of contact and have been shown to reduce young people’s anxieties about interacting with older people and dispel worries about growing older themselves. For older adults, intergenerational contact reduces loneliness and depression and can lead to improved performance on cognitive tests.
Speaking after the event, Sea Scouts leader Jo Edwards said: “We received a very warm welcome from both the staff and the residents at Elmcroft and the Beavers loved playing games with the residents and really enjoyed singing to them.
“As a group, and as a Scouting movement, we want to build real and lasting relationships in communities that will enable and encourage young people to continue taking social action long into the future. We hope that our latest visit to Elmcroft has helped to foster relationships and we look forward to future visits. We would like to thank the residents and staff for giving us this opportunity, and for their kindness.”
Mrs Donald added: “The evening was a huge success and ended on a high with the Sea Scouts performing their own ‘sea shanty’ in the form of a Baby Shark sing-along. As a company, Shaw healthcare is committed to promoting intergenerational activity as we have seen, first hand, the enjoyment and benefits it can bring for our residents and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Jo and her fantastic group of young people.”