Preschoolers and residents with dementia visiting the Twycross Zoo

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SoilAssocFood for Life has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to improve food and reduce social isolation amongst generations in Food for Life Get Togethers. The local team are working in Leicestershire through funding from Leicestershire County Council Public Health team to address food issues in schools and early years

As part of the intergenerational project, Get Togethers the Food for Life team has brought children in nurseries together with residents in care homes. Unlike other TV documentaries many of the residents in these homes have advanced levels of dementia and sometime demonstrate challenging behaviours.

The Food for Life team, working in partnership with West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG) on Get Togethers, have brought Bosworth Court Care Home and Cadeby Lane Stepping Stones Nursery in Market Bosworth together. They have found that when these residents at Bosworth Court and pre-schoolers are brought together, any challenging behaviours diminish, residents are calmer, take on a nurturing role with the children, in this calm state they are eating and drinking more.

At Bosworth Court Care Home, where the nursery and care home have been working together for 18months, the staff and families have noticed that the residents are showing greater pride in their appearance, they are more engaged and there has been a marked difference in their health and well-being. They are now also seeing improvements in the short term memories recall of the residents.

Equally, the children’s development, particularly around the personal, social and emotional development has increased dramatically, they have grown in confidence and formed strong connections with the residents. The children share gifts with residents and often bring their families to the Care Homes to visit they older friends.

As we approach the end of the academic year many of the children will be starting school in September, both the residents and the children will be visiting Twycross Zoo for them to create new memories over this experience and would like to invite you to join us. They will be taking part in the Zoo’s activities, having a picnic together and having fun.