Residents from Stamford Bupa Care Home and children from Hazelbury School have come together to share a love of books and reading as part of a partnership between Bupa and the National Literacy Trust.
The initiative, Generations of Stories, funded by the Bupa Foundation and Bupa Care Services aims to improve rates of reading for enjoyment in children, which is linked to educational progress and mental wellbeing. Similarly, meaningful social interactions and positive relationships have been shown to boost wellbeing in elderly people, as well as stave off loneliness and even possibly slow cognitive decline.
The reading session saw children from Hazelbury School invited to Stamford for a morning of reading, fun and making new friends, with professional storyteller John Hughes gathering everyone together to bring the wonderful world of books to life.
To encourage the children to continue with their love of reading, they have also been gifted free books to treasure at home, including intergenerational story, ‘Tibble and Grandpa’.
Care home resident, Marion Auburn, age 90, said: “It was wonderful to spend time with the children and to read together. It reminded me of reading to my children and grandchildren when they were little. The children told me about their favourite stories and I reminisced about my favourite books as a child – I’ve always loved books about animals. I’m looking forward to seeing the children again and hearing about their progress with their reading.”
Joyce Chisanga, Home Manager at Stamford Bupa Care Home, commented: “Our residents love spending time with children, they bring such energy to the home and reading is an activity that everyone can enjoy together. We’re so pleased to be involved with this partnership at Stamford, we strive to provide the highest quality care for our residents and play an active role in the local community. Seeing the children and our residents bond has been so wonderful and rewarding in many ways.”
“Reading is a powerful way to bring people together and reading for pleasure has a huge host of benefits, including supporting both education and wellbeing,” said Nick Oram, Programme Manager of the Young Readers Programme. “Sharing stories and being able to choose your own books from a diverse collection is a crucial part of inspiring children to read, and we’re so excited to put both of those things into practice with Bupa.”
The initiative sees six Bupa care homes across the country partnering with nearby primary schools to encourage a love of reading. Through the partnership over 250 schoolchildren will receive donated books as well as taking part in a range of inspirational reading sessions both at their schools and in Bupa care homes, where professional storytellers will help residents and children bond over some well-loved tales.