Monday, May 15th, 2017.

Delia Clark pictured with Rainbird pupil Olivia Wright at Brooke House 

Rainbird Primary youngsters and care home residents bridged the generation gap in a feel good afternoon of chatter and smiles.

The pupils made their latest weekly visit to Brooke House in West Denton to talk with the elderly, play games, swap stories and show off their school work.

Their visits are a big hit with residents who enjoy learning how children are progressing at school and sharing memories of their days learning in a classroom.

Excelsior Academy Catering Manager Lesley Hope arranged for the youngsters to visit Brooke House situated just a few hundred yards from the academy’s front gates.

Emma Dewhurst, Brooke House Activities Co-ordinator, said: “When Lesley contacted me to ask whether we would be interested in linking up with Excelsior Academy, we were very keen to participate.

“We know that our service users love to see children in the home and we know that interaction between school children and the elderly is very beneficial.

“When the children are here, our service users are so happy to see them and it’s lovely to see big smiles on all their faces.

“We all look forward to the children’s visits.” Fellow Brooke House Activities Co-ordinator Leanne Downes said: “When the children come to visit you can see their eyes light up.

“They really connect with the children and after they have gone they are on cloud nine.”

Rainbird Academy’s Petra Brown said: “Although we have only been visiting the residents for a short period of time, I have noticed a significant change in some of our children; they have developed higher levels of self-esteem, which has impacted on their social and emotional skills.

“It has made our children feel special, the children have seen how happy the residents are when they visit them and the children themselves look forward to visiting them. It is a privilege for us to be part of the wider community.”