Guinness Care helps toddlers bring songs and smiles to older people
Older people at Independent Living sites are taking part in activities and getting a positive boost thanks to energetic young guests.
Songs & Smiles is an intergenerational music group that brings together 0-4 year olds, their parents and local older people to boost wellbeing, reduce loneliness and create strong and happy communities through song and dance.
Guinness Care (part of The Guinness Partnership) are funding the visits at their Independent Living sites in Blackburn and Rochdale. The sessions, run by The Together Project charity, will continue at the five sites until July 2022.
With older people isolated for so long during the pandemic, they and their relatives said the activities are just what they needed to feel connected again.
A relative of one of the residents said: “It was really lovely to see Marie light up in the session because this was the first thing that she has done since lockdown. She hadn’t left her flat at all and she had really lost her confidence.”
Heidi, whose two-year-old attended one of the sessions, said: “My daughter and I had a wonderful time. It has been difficult during COVID-19, having no interaction with other people and this is what we needed.
“She had so much fun dancing and playing with the group, and the residents were lovely and so accommodating. I can’t wait to see them all again.”
Catherine Parsons, Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for Guinness Care, said: “This scheme is a wonderful opportunity for different generations to connect with each other and we’re delighted to be able to fund it.”
“Isolation and loneliness are proven to have significant detrimental effects on people’s mental and physical health. This is one of the many projects we support to help improve the lives of our older customers.”
Louise Goulden, Founder and CEO of The Together Project, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Guinness Care. We share their commitment to improving people’s lives and are thrilled to be able to bring our transformational Songs & Smiles programme to their housing schemes, with a focus on improving wellbeing and spreading happiness among their customers.”