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By GreaterSport | 27 February 2018 | TAGS: #SuccessStories, GMUnder5s, #Under5s, older adults

Many children Under 5 spend up to 10 hours daily in childcare provision with their peers and Early Years Professionals, whilst many elderly members of society are in danger of becoming isolated in their own homes or having little contact with the community in their nursing home.

This project seeks to bring together these two age ranges in a local community to primarily address inactivity. But also to enhance individual health and wellbeing alongside community development and cohesion.

Insight

Activities which provide opportunities for residents to keep dexterity in hands and fingers, hand eye coordination and weight bearing activities which support balance and reduce the risk of falls would be highly beneficial.

This correlates with the physical skills Under 5’s need to develop, to aid independence and to support their physical journey to school readiness.

Project

GreaterSport asked nurseries within GM (Greater Manchester) if they would like to be part of a pilot project funded by the GM Investment Scheme.

The nursery chosen already had a relationship with a local nursing home, who were keen to be involved, as the children visit to sing Carols at Christmas.

Consultation

All partners met to create a bespoke physical activity session and discuss how the project would work without negatively impacting on either the residents, staff, children or practitioners.

Activity

It was decided to keep the group small with four children and four residents plus support staff.

The children and staff walked over to the nursing home together, where conversation focused on where they were going and what they were doing.

The residents were in chairs or wheelchairs, so all activities were adapted so everyone could engage. A particular favourite was hoopla, throwing balls at a target with the children collecting the balls and returning them to the residents.

At the end of the session the nursing home staff were very pleased about the engagement and physical movement the residents displayed.

“The lady in the wheelchair never joins in any activities, so this was great for her”

One of the children said “I like collecting the balls I’m helpful, [because] she has poorly legs”

The nursery are looking to roll out this project as they observed so many areas of development in the children and it sparked conversations between the children back at the nursery.

Download the case study here.

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