Youths and elderly come together for festive cheer
11 December 2015
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Children from Laughton Street Kindergarten enjoy a Christmas party hosted by St Johns Wood Rest Home
Luke Kirkeby, Taupo Times
Age is no barrier for the friendships being formed between Taupo’s Laughton Street Kindergarten and St Johns Wood retirement village. On Wednesday 40 kids from the kindergarten joined St Johns Wood residents for a Christmas Party where they bonded over Christmas carols, nibbles, bubbles, gifts and a special visit from the big man in red himself.
St Johns Wood business and care manager Cushla Wolland said it was all about connecting with the wider community. “Some of our elderly residents are quite lonely so they love to have connections with children and to see things through children’s eyes," she said. “Some of the children don’t have grandparents so it allows them to build a relationship which we hope will continue when they go onto school and see them pop in for a visit.”
She said the initiative had taken a lot of time to eventuate with the village’s activities co-ordinator Raewyn Heke attending meetings with the pre-school to ensure everyone was on the same page.
“It has taken possibly a year to get off the ground but it has all been worth it when you see what joy it gives our residents and the children."
“It has been one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved with as a manager,” she said. “This is the first time we have done a Christmas party with the children and we hope to just nurture the relationship now, doing other events.”
“Next year we have got a plan where they will come in once a week in small groups and it is up to the residents and the children as to the relationships they will make,” she said. Laughton Street Kindergarten head teacher Jan Smith said the kindergarten was fully backing the initiative and said it was important for the development of the children to interact with the wider community.
Find out more about St Johns Wood Rest Home