Children’s play area to open at Sandford Station

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 August 2017

Residents and preschool children enjoying a tea party in Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds.

Residents and preschool children enjoying a tea party in Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds.

©Barbara Evripidou

A children’s play area is being set up at a retirement home in Winscombe after the success of a Channel 4 TV show.

Monica, Amiya and Solomon share a joke in the Channel 4 TV show.Monica, Amiya and Solomon share a joke in the Channel 4 TV show.

Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds captured viewers’ hearts last week when a group of preschool children were invited into a retirement village.

Watching the bonds form between the children and residents was heart-warming and resulted in improved mental and physical health for a number of the home’s inhabitants.

The social experiment was filmed in a home owned by St Monica Trust and the organisation is now planning to open a nursery on one of its sites and a children’s play area at Sandford Station.

David Williams, chief executive of the St Monica Trust, said: “When we were asked by Channel 4 to take part in this project, we all saw the potential of this wonderful experiment for changing the way we care for older people in the UK.

Children enjoying a tea party with the residents in Channel 4's programme.Children enjoying a tea party with the residents in Channel 4's programme.

“To create a lasting legacy for all great work started by this project, the trust has committed to introducing a children’s nursery at one of our retirement communities and we are already consulting about a potential partnership with a local preschool.

“Seeing the evidence of the positive impact of bringing these two generations together has only strengthened the trust’s desire to create open communities that actively encourage contact across different age groups.

“We will also be installing children’s playgrounds at all of our sites, including our Sandford Station retirement community.”

The social experiment was filmed by CPL Productions at the trust’s Cote Lane retirement village in Bristol.

Eleven residents were introduced to 10 children which had a huge impact on the older people – transforming their health and wellbeing.

Kelly Webb-Lamb, head of factual entertainment at Channel 4 said: “It became evident quite quickly while watching this series that the impact the children had on the older adults was astonishing.

“Knowing there’s now a legacy from this experiment is incredible and we hope it can play a small part in helping to tackle the issue of social isolation in retirement communities and care homes.”

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