Why life histories matters
At Anchor Hanover our care homes and retirement housing estates are very much part of their local community and really benefit from strong relationships with local schools.
The testimonials below are from children, teachers and Anchor Hanover colleagues who have seen and experienced the positive impact mixing with different generations has on both young and older people alike.
Woodville Grove and St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School, Kent
Mary Masterson, Headteacher at St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School: “We are fortunate to have as our neighbours, the residents of Woodville Grove.
"We have enjoyed helping them in their garden and, hope they will help us in developing our raised beds, which are planned for in the school grounds. We also look forward to visiting soon to hear about their wartime experiences.
"Woodville Grove and St Stephen’s Catholic Primary School together make a good team.”
Marilyn Barker, Manager at Woodville Grove retirement housing scheme: "It is very good to watch the children liaise with the residents, who have built up a good rapport with them. The residents love mixing with the younger generations and still have plenty to offer them.
"Answering their strange and obtrusive questions and their inquisitive natures, you never know where the conversation is going and what subject you will end up discussing."
Pembroke Court and Werneth School, Stockport
Paul, Scheme Manager at Pembroke Court retirement housing scheme: "We have strong links with the local school, Werneth School, and over the last year they’ve made several visits for garden activities, Macmillan Coffee Morning and carol concerts.
"Young children and older adults do mix - we just need to ensure that those gates are open. As we get older we like to have face-to-face conversations.”
Ruth Craven, teacher at Werneth School: “I feel the young people have developed massively since linking with Pembroke Court. It's provided a well needed mentoring/befriending process which has enabled them to develop social communication. It's improved their independent skills and confidence and given them a sense of belonging and worth which in turn has had a big impact on their health and wellbeing. It's also enabled them to think of the wider community in which they live.”
Children from Werneth School: "I like going because helping others makes me feel good."
"Some of the residents must get lonely if they don’t have much family so hopefully
it cheers them up when we go."
"It’s good they give us opportunities to come out of school and learn in a different way; Life Learning."
"It makes me feel good talking to the residents as they never judge me and they always listen."
"Love listening to stories of when they were at school! It makes me laugh."
"It brightens my day and makes me feel good about myself knowing we are appreciated for what we do."
Fairfield Court and Fairfield Road Primary School, Manchester
Ann, Scheme Manager at Fairfield Court retirement housing scheme: “We had a visit from a year five class as they were learning about the lives of older people. The tenants and the children really enjoyed speaking to each other. One of our customers made shells during the war and the children were fascinated by her stories.
"I was nervous about having groups of children in an extra care scheme where some of our customers have mental health problems but it went really well and I’d definitely do it again – the children were really polite and respectful. It was a great community interaction experience.”
Children at Fairfield Road Primary School: “I really enjoyed learning stuff from them, like what happened when they were little. I really liked looking at the old photograph of the football team.”
“I liked speaking to Ada because she used to be a singer and dancer.”
“I learnt the difference between an independent care home and a residential care home.”
“I learned what the difference was between how we live now and how they lived when they were children.”
“I liked the pictures they showed of us of our school before it got knocked down and rebuilt.”
Barncroft and King George IV Pre School, Derby
Julie, Scheme Manager at Barncroft retirement housing scheme: “It is really lovely to see the interaction of the tenants with the children - especially those who rarely see their families, or indeed, have no family. We are always invited to any events the nursery put on and it is an important relationship that we love to promote.
"In the summer months we love to hear the children outside playing. Now and then we find ourselves throwing a ball or Frisbee back over the fence!”
If your school is interested in the Life Histories initiative and getting to know older people who live near by, you can use our Find a property tool to search for Anchor Hanover properties in your local area. Simply give your local Anchor Hanover retirement housing scheme or care home a call to find out more about arranging a visit.
Contact our Communications team on 07713 085 004
If you are a journalist and would like to speak to someone, please call the duty media officer.