Pupils from years 5 and 6 at St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School have visited Areley House Care Home to take part in a music and activity session with some of the residents who have dementia. The children led the residents in a number of action songs, helped them play parachute games and blew bubbles during the hour long session.

Playing with the parachuteThe visit was organised by Lisa Cooper, Activities Co-ordinator at Areley House. She said: “The school come into the home regularly to sing and read to the residents. I’ve really noticed how anything to do with children, animals and music really brings people with dementia to life, so we thought we’d try inviting the children to a ‘Jungle Jiggle’ session to see how it would work.”

Jungle Jiggle at care homeJungle Jiggle is a small, Worcester-based company set up by Kay Pipe and her business partner. They visit a number of care homes to lead music-based sessions involving residents and children. Kay said: “We started doing intergenerational sessions in December last year, although usually we work with under 5’s! The difference we see in the residents is amazing – there are always smiles and laughter and we have great feedback from staff.”

The pupils from St Bartholomew’s School all volunteered to be part of the visit and had a great time. They said: “We wanted to cheer people up and make the elderly people happy. It has been brilliant and it was a delight to meet all the people in the home.”

Boy with Areley Care home residentHeadteacher, Sue Helps, said: “This is a lovely opportunity for our children. Many have grandparents with dementia, so it’s good for them to understand the importance of interacting. I was very proud of the children for throwing themselves into the activities – we’ll definitely be coming again, next time with some of the younger children as well.”

Areley House is now liaising with the school to enable the children to come and take part in sessions more regularly. Lisa said: “I’m over the moon with how it’s gone. The residents responded fantastically – their faces really lit up and it was great to see them interacting with the children. We’ll look forward to welcoming a bigger group next time!”