A pair of leaders in different fields have proved age is no barrier to learning or making friends.
Durlston Court, an independent school in New Milton, Hampshire, is partnering with nearby Kingfishers care home to give children the chance to socialise with elderly residents.
Weekly visits to the home see reception-year pupils meet and share learning experiences with residents, finding out about their lives, enjoying companionship and discussing topics of interest.
The initiative caps a hugely successful few months for both the school and home after they each gained the highest possible ratings from their respective inspecting bodies.
Durlston Court was rated ‘excellent’ in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate while Kingfishers, run by family-owned Colten Care, gained an ‘outstanding’ rating from care sector regulator the CQC.
To kick off the series of visits, Kingfishers residents first welcomed pupils for a super hero-themed afternoon of fun.
Kingfishers Home Manager Beata Brzozowska said: “Intergenerational activities like this are so valuable. Seeing our residents interact with these four and five-year-olds is such a joyful experience. It brings out the best in everyone.”
Gilly Smith, Head of Durlston’s Pre-Prep Department, said: “The visits are full of smiles, stories and songs and we’re seeing the beginnings of some very special friendships.”
The link with Durlston is one part of Colten Care’s wider commitment to providing companionship for residents.
Across its 19 other homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, the family-owned provider is developing similar links with schools and other community organisations.
To watch a short film of the Durlston pupils’ first trip to Kingfishers, visit;