Children from South Wellfield School have been taking weekly trips to nearby Earsdon Grange, a residential care home for the elderly which also provides specialist care for people living with dementia, to chat with the home’s residents and take part in a collaborative knitting project.
During sessions at the care home, which is operated by Countrywide Care Homes, children and residents have been knitting square bears together which are then used by the school for counting games and mathematic exercises.
Knitting has been shown to have great benefits for young children, encouraging their creativity, concentration, relaxation and even improving their maths skills.
The knit and natter group has proved very popular with the residents of Earsdon Grange. Activities Coordinator Deryn Johnson Said: “Our residents really look forward to our knit and natter club and love it when the children come to visit. The children are so comfortable and thoughtful with our residents and it’s lovely to see the different generations bonding through chatting, sharing skills and working on a creative project together. The sessions are so beneficial for both the children and residents.“
Knitting is a popular past time with many of the residents of Earsdon Grange. As well as the Knit and Natter club the home also holds regular sessions with community group ‘Pass it on Skills’ where they have been knitting therapeutic textured hand mitts dubbed ‘twiddlemuffs’ which are then donated to North Tyneside hospital to help as a relaxation aid for hospital patients who have dementia.
Home Manager of Earsdon Grange Nicola Bell, who was recently named as a national finalist in the Manager of the Year category of the Maria Mallaband and Countrywide Care Home 2016 awards, said: “We think it’s very important that our residents continue to be a part of our local community. Many of them have been very active in the community throughout their lives and we think it’s important that this can continue after they come to live with us.”