Making Friends at The Maynard School

Published: 22/05/2019

As part of our Wellbeing Programme, our customers and our care staff headed back to school for an afternoon of games, sharing stories and making new friends at The Maynard School.

As part of our Wellbeing Programme, our customers and care staff headed back to school for an afternoon of games, sharing stories and making new friends at The Maynard School.

 
 
Friendships can grow in the unlikeliest of places - as Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds showed us when a group of energetic pre-schoolers joined a community of seniors.

Yet, such friendships appear to us as “unlikely” only because of the limited opportunities our society holds for different generations to meet. In fact, Stephen Burke, Director of United for All Ages recently reported that “Britain is one of the most age-segregated countries in the world.” And as the heart-warming Channel 4 programme showed us – both young and older people are missing out. But even more worringly, so many older people across the UK experience chronic loneliness and social isolation. As we get older we become less mobile, often losing friends along the way and struggling to get out to meet new people. This can lead to depression, fraility and cognitive decline.

That’s why, in 2018, we decided to team up with local primary school The Maynard School, to help change this in Exeter and give the young and older members of our community the chance to meet. As part of our Wellbeing Programme, our customers and care staff headed back to school for an afternoon of games, sharing stories and making new friends with Years 1 & 2 at The Maynard School. Our aim was to help connect the generations and create a sense of wellbeing for both old and young alike. 
 


Almost immediately any boundaries between the young and old disappeared, as the Year 1 & 2 girls welcomed our customers into their classroom with genuine excitement. There was a book corner, where the children shared the stories they've been reading with their teachers, and a whole range of fun activity stations aimed to increase wellbeing, from colouring to jigsaw puzzles, playdough to board games.

With the help and encouragement of The Maynard School's pupils, our customers had the chance to do new, fun things. This is so important for helping increase confidence and activity.

It's also very important to help our younger generations develop a positive attitude towards older people, which this event is helping to achieve. As Mr. Smerdon, Head of Junior School at The Maynard School, says, "I know that their curious minds will love hearing stories of bygone days and tales of wisdom." Children who have early contact with older people are less likely to view them as incompetent and are less likely to exhibit ageism. 
 


"Being part of a community is so important in keeping us youthful and we are delighted to be joining this initiative. Our Pre-Prep is well known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere so we are truly excited by the prospect of being joined by some of Bluebird Care’s ladies and gentlemen."

- Mr. Smerdon, Head of Junior School at The Maynard School in Exeter

"We want to help combat our customers
social isolation and encourage a sense of independence through our Wellbeing Programe. We see a real difference in our customers who attend our events. This initiative provides real opportunities for contact and conversation - so vital in combating feelings of loneliness"

- Sara Flint, Director of Bluebird Care Exeter, Exmouth & East Devon

 


Find out more about our Exeter Wellbeing Programme here, or contact our Wellbeing Coordinator Emma Perrett on 01392 426 006 to find out about joining our next Wellbeing event.