A Torbay based intergenerational programme which brings together Childminders, young children and residential adults on a daily basis has won a national award despite currently being on hold due to the pandemic.

The ‘Inclusive Practice’ category of the annual Nursery World awards was won by a collaborative local project in the Bay. The judge of the awards said “This submission is exactly what inclusion is about.”

Over the past few years, Torbay Council’s Early Years Advisory Team has been working with Warberries Care Home in Torquay to enable childminders and early years children to befriend older residents as part on an intergenerational co-located programme.

The project started off as a daily engagement programme where childminders and their children shared an intergenerational learning space with older people in the care home, but this has had to move to a largely virtual model via Skype, ipads and laptops due to the pandemic.

Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services for Torbay Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Torbay has received this national recognition for the ground-breaking intergenerational project.

“We are committed to working with all our partners to improve the wellbeing of both children and older people in the area and this ground-breaking scheme that’s been up and running for a little while has made a real difference.

“Though sadly a lot of this work has had to take place remotely due to the pandemic, we are pleased that children and older people such as young Noah and care home resident George – have continued to keep in touch through Skype video calls.

“Helping care home residents to interact with children is evidence based and shown to improve confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem for both the children and the care home residents and I hope that we are not only able to resume the work we were doing once the lockdown is over, but also continue to expand the scheme with more care homes and childminders in the area.”

Graham Greenaway, Managing Director of Warberries Care Home, said; “It has been a privilege during this dreadful period, to maintain something that is as positive as the Intergenerational Project. It has been a great boost to be involved in something that has an emotionally uplifting effect on residents, staff and the fabulous children involved in this programme”.

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