When the think tank ‘United for All Ages’ published its ‘Mixing Matters’ report back in January 2018, Castle Lane took up the challenge to help tackle growing social divides in Britain. The report found Britain to be one of the most age segregated countries in the world, particularly for the oldest and youngest generations, noting that this gap has widened over the last 50 years. The United for All Ages report made three key recommendations for bringing older and younger people together:
  1. Building multigenerational communities: supporting community businesses, making public spaces more accessible, opening community facilities to all ages, co-locating childcare and eldercare schemes
  2. Mutual support through two-way relationships: online mentoring of younger people, advocacy for older people needing health and social care, ‘homeshare’ schemes where younger people live with older people, increased interaction between grandfathers and grandchildren
  3. Better communication between generations: establishing a national council for all ages supported by an intergenerational convention, building bridges between generations using arts activities and street parties.
Keen to improve communications between generations, Castle Lane came up with a reciprocal arrangement with Lenthall House Residential Home, a local provider in Market Harborough, specialising in residential, dementia and respite care.

Lenthall house

The plan was to have a small group of pre-school children, aged between 3 and 4, visit their elderly residents on a weekly basis, benefitting both children and residents alike. rock painting at lenthall house Several years on, this is embedded in the nursery’s weekly routine, where a group of 6 children visit the home every Wednesday. Together with the residents, they take part in a variety of activities including rock painting, ball games, playing in the garden and colouring.

rock painting at lenthall house

The children love engaging with the residents, with each one wearing a name sticker so that the adults know the child’s name.

rock painting at lenthall house

Co-Owner Harriet Gray says “For both children and residents, the visit is a valuable experience. Through conversation both learn so much. Children develop their confidence and social skills from conversation with new adults in different environments. Children ask questions about the residents’ lives and experiences. All children enjoy the trips and are excited when a Wednesday afternoon comes around.”

rock painting at lenthall house


painting at lenthall house