Tolson Grange care home in Huddersfield have been working with a local school to bring older and younger people together as part of Anchor’s Life Histories campaign

Tolson Grange invited year 10 and 11 pupil’s from nearby Dalton School to come and spend time with some of residents for a special reminiscence session to help them learn more about life before modern technology. Staff at the home decorated the lounge with a vast array of memorabilia from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, including memory boxes and items kindly provided by the Tolson Museum.

To help promote meaningful discussions between the residents and children, the pupils were challenged to try and create a handmade cricket ball from just torn paper and string, as children in the 1920s would have done.

Resident Mavis Clegg, 82, said: “Spending time with children is really lovely, it is nice to teach them the skills that they don’t know such as creating toys out of paper and string like the ones we played with.”

Other activities the group enjoyed included having their feet measured by staff using a Dr Scholls wooden foot measure lent by the museum and comparing the difference in average sizes over the decades.

Activities co-ordinator Craig Green, said: “It really is hard to put into words the feeling you get when effort to make a difference to someone’s life comes to fruition.

“For our residents this was another day living well with dementia, being happy, handing down real life knowledge and skills to the children who have definitely gone away enriched by the experience.”

Dalton School teacher Anne Mannifield said: “The children are really grateful to be involved in such a lovely, enlightening experience, they couldn’t wait to get here and are thoroughly looking forward to the next visit.”

The residents made special certificates for the pupils to take away at the end of the day to show their appreciation for the time spent together. Residents Mavis Clegg, Sybil Schofield, Lisa Stott and Joyce Robinson and everyone at the home would like to say a massive thank-you and well done to the children of Dalton School for their enthusiasm and spending time with them.

Anchor's Life Histories campaign is a nationwide schools initiative that aims to break down the barriers between the young and old. Find out more and download our free teaching guide here.

Find out more about Tolson Grange here.

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