It was so lovely to visit the care home again and see our grandfriends after two long years. We initially became involved in the project pre-pandemic alongside drama group Debutots and a local care home. We enjoyed monthly visits where we participated in dramatic story telling and play activities with the residents. It had a huge impact. The children, including one with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder and another who was a selective talker, really enjoyed seeing their grandfriends. They steadily gained confidence and became much more interactive with the residents. The residents themselves were always thrilled to see the children. The number of them becoming involved grew too and one of the highlights was witnessing one lady who is reported as being uncommunicative, smile when a child handed her a scarf so that she could join in the fun.
Engaging with the residents at the care home has supported the children’s personal and social development and broadened their experiences. They view their grandfriends as capable, fun and very special. We are thrilled to be a part of this again and very much look forward to picking up our visits again more regularly in the autumn.