Music and movement sessions are bringing three generations together, for mutual benefit.
Katie Hunwick, franchisee for Jo Jingles Worthing Arun, came up with the idea and organised a partnership with Abbeyfield Ferring, which has assisted living for 11 older residents at Old School House in Ferring.
She explained: “I was inspired watching Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds on television and seeing the benefits it had to both sets of generations.
“We will run a normal Jo Jinglers class and involve the residents as well.”
The classes promote listening, sharing and communication skills and Katie said they are great fun. The 30-minute Jo Jinglers class includes action songs and playing musical instruments, usually for two-year-olds and their parents.
A free taster session for the new partnership, which will see children and their parents joining in sessions alongside residents from Old School House, was held on Thursday.
Having been well received by everyone, the new class will now launch on Monday at the new Abbeyfield Ferring Day Centre, opposite the home in Ferring Street.
Katie added: “This cross-generational project should give the older people a focus and hopefully something to help them to combat loneliness. It should give the children a chance to meet older people they wouldn’t usually get the chance to meet.
“The nursery rhymes we use should help to give both groups familiarity and we use lots of instruments and props, which should be easily accessed and enjoyed by everyone.”
The new class, for age two-plus, will continue weekly on Mondays at 10am.
Jacqui Swindells, chief operation officer at Abbeyfield Ferring, said: “This is completely new for us. We wanted to engage in this because there is a lot of research about intergenerational work.
“Although some of our residents do have their grandchildren living nearby, lots of them don’t see them and become unfamiliar with younger children.
“We are trying to break down that barrier and give them the opportunity to be with children again to benefit from that relationship.
“For the children, and even their parents, they may not see people in their 90s very often, so it works both ways. Music is such a leveller, too.”
Visit www.jojingles.com/worthing-arun for more information.