To celebrate National Storytelling Week, residents from Renaissance Care’s Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don have re-lived some of their most treasured memories and shared their favourite life stories with children from Forehill Nursery, as part of a special project.
Three residents from the care home were interviewed by the nursery pupils, who will bring the senior citizen’s moments to life through a range of creative subjects including art, drama and song.
The children aged between three and four will then present the stories and memories back to care home residents, Emily, Rita and Isabella, in March to mark Intergenerational Week.
During the storytelling sessions, the children were given a glimpse into what life what was like for the residents born almost three generations apart.
The children loved Emily McIntosh’s (84) stories about her life with horses, from the ten which her daughter has owned, to her horse competition judging days and the stables her late husband built 26 years ago. Despite only ever having been on a horse for all of five minutes in 1995 for the picture which Emily shared with the class, Emily still loves horses and was taken on a visit by her daughter to their family stables last summer.
Isabella Whyte, 96, regaled the class with her memories of her time in her beloved Glasgow. Having studied engineering at 18 years old during the war, Isabella spent four years in Scotland’s largest city studying, working and dancing the night away in the Barrowlands, before moving back to Aberdeen with her husband who she had met while working in a local Glaswegain factory.
Rita Bryson, 83, worked in a cone winding factory known as the Broadfold Works in Aberdeen from the age of 18 until 1970. Rita had pictures to demonstrate to the children what she did at the factory in an industry which in her day was one of Scotland’s largest, but has since been taken overseas. Rita loved her job, especially Fridays which was ‘sweetie day’, something the children also liked the sound of.
This project is part of a successful, ongoing partnership between Forehill Nursery and the Bridge of Don care home, which is managed by Renaissance Care. Now in its second year, the partnership sees pupils visit the home fortnightly, which has became an important and much loved part of the nursery’s curriculum, providing pupils and residents the opportunity to play, colour and learn from one another.
By enveloping this partnership into their general curriculum, Forehill’s pupils have benefitted from improved citizenship skills, general health and wellbeing, as well as gaining a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by.
Jade McGowan, activities co-ordinator at Renaissance Care’s Jesmond Care home, said: “The residents love sharing their stories with the children during their fortnightly visit, so National Storytelling Week gives us a great opportunity to work together and use these stories as an educational experience for the kids.
“Interacting and sharing with the children is such a cherished part of the resident’s life at Jesmond and they are really looking forward to seeing their stories brought to life by their friends at Forehill in March.”
Lisa Mitchell, head teacher at Forehill Nursery, said: “When speaking to the children about their experiences in nursery and what they enjoy most, the visits to Jesmond Care Home are consistently at the forefront. Our pupils and the residents have developed real friendships which offer both parties a different perspective on life.
“The children have loved listening to the stories by Emily, Rita and Isabella, and are looking forward to drawing, colouring and designing their digital and printed comic book strips, retelling their tales, and presenting back to their friends at the care home at Intergenerational Week in March.”
Jesmond Care Home, managed by Renaissance Care, is a purpose-built home for elderly residents, which aims to provide the highest standard of care and support for their clients while making it feel like an extension of their own homes. Qualified care and nursing is provided round the clock, as well as a number of initiatives and activities focused on giving the resident’s the best quality of life.