Harrogate Neighbours takes pupils on a virtual trip down the Amazon River as part of Intergenerational Week

To mark Intergenerational Week, Harrogate Neighbours invited Year 4 pupils from Richard Taylor Primary School to The Cuttings for a sensory afternoon with residents.

By Lucy Chappell
Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:38 pm

Intergenerational Week is celebrated globally and aims to inspire and spark conversations and connections between different generations.

The theme for the fun-filled afternoon was ‘South America’, based on the school’s topic for the term.

The children enjoyed a ‘trip on the train’, a brand-new piece of virtual reality technology at The Cuttings which is a form of reminiscence therapy designed for residents living with dementia.

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Pupils from Richard Taylor Primary School enjoyed a sensory afternoon with residents at The Cuttings as part of Intergenerational Week

A carriage with all the authenticity of an early 20th century first class train carriage has been installed in the lounge area for all residents and visitors to enjoy.

A video of South America, which included a trip down the Amazon River and through the rainforest, was shown on the screen.

Richard Benson, from Little Islands who has installed the train carriage, said: “Residential care should be a positive life choice, and nowhere is that more true than at Harrogate Neighbours.

"We are so pleased to be part of this fantastic way to bring all generations together in such a stimulating, educational and fun manner."

Pupils from Richard Taylor Primary School enjoyed a sensory afternoon with residents at The Cuttings as part of Intergenerational Week

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The residents and care staff were also on hand to help the children make animal themed arts and crafts which will be displayed in the communal living room at The Cuttings.

To top off the visit, the children got the chance to stroke an exotic snake.

One pupil said: “It has been an amazing afternoon.

Pupils from Richard Taylor Primary School enjoyed a sensory afternoon with residents at The Cuttings as part of Intergenerational Week

"I loved the trip on the train and meeting the snake.

"The older people were all really friendly and it was nice to hear all about the different places that have travelled to.”

A resident added: “It’s been wonderful having the children come and visit – they asked lots of questions and taught me a lot of interesting facts about the different animals found in South America.”

Pupils from Richard Taylor Primary School enjoyed a sensory afternoon with residents at The Cuttings as part of Intergenerational Week

Andrew Symonds, Headteacher at Richard Taylor School, said: “The children really enjoyed spending time with the residents and hearing all their interesting life stories.

"The travelling train through South America was so exciting for them and it really helped to bring the topic they are studying at school to life.

"A big thank you to the team and residents at Harrogate Neighbours.”

Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours, added: “We know the positive impact children can have on the older people in our care, and after a challenging couple of years due to the pandemic it was wonderful to welcome the children back into The Cuttings.

"We’ve run several initiatives with Richard Taylor School and we look forward to many more in the near future.

"It was amazing to see the residents and children together on their journey through the Amazon."