The benefits of shared playtime

TWO generations are coming together for special play sessions at a Chobham care home.

Children from St Lawrence Playgroup are visiting the residents of Coxhill Manor twice a month to enjoy toys, story time, snacks and a singsong.

Coxhill Manor resident Thomas Roche meets Jack from the playgroup, along with Sarah Taylor, the home’s activities manager

Play Together is an intergenerational group organised by St Lawrence Church and the care home. All under-fives and their carers are welcome, and older brothers and sisters also attend in the school holidays.

“Through the group, we can strengthen our local community and unite some of the youngest and oldest members, while making new friends,” said Carina Franklin, the church’s children and families worker.

Time for tea, juice and biscuits during the play session

“Interaction with the older generation can help children with their social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language development. When children visit Coxhill Manor they can light up a resident’s day, and bring back many happy memories for them.”

Carina added that the energy and positivity of the children can be contagious and the interaction can improve the residents’ sense of wellbeing, especially if they are living with dementia.

Play Together is run on the first and third Tuesday of the month throughout the year, from 10.30am to noon. The church playgroup is in the church hall on Mondays and Thursdays 9.45am to 11.30am during term time.

While the Thursday session has been running for more than 40 years, the Monday session was started last September 2019 following the closure of Chobham’s Sure Start Children’s Centre due to Surrey County Council cuts.

“We have aimed to fill the gap left by the closure of the children’s centre, as well as continuing to bring our community together,” said Corina. “the group is for parents, grandparents and carers with their new-born, toddler or pre-school children for fun, craft, singing and themed play sessions.”

For more information about the playgroups, visit www. http://www.chobhamchurch.co.uk.

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