Friday friends connecting New Forest generations.

Brockenhurst Primary School and Woodpeckers care home share companionship and laughter.


Woodpeckers resident Yvonne Carnegie with a young visitorSchoolchildren and nursing home residents in the New Forest are finding friendship together under a new initiative designed to bridge the generation gap.

Pupils from Brockenhurst Primary School have begun making weekly trips to nearby Woodpeckers care home to socialise with elderly residents, find out about their lives and share companionship and laughter.

The children, aged eight, nine and ten, are paired up with a ‘buddy’ resident each Friday, with the visitors and hosts taking turns to suggest a shared activity. Initial meetings have involved the traditional board game Snakes and Ladders and a crafts session on making greeting cards.

Woodpeckers Home Manager Katie Whiteside said: “The children’s visits have quickly become a hugely valued highlight of the week for many of our residents. The smiles and laughter light up each Friday. In this age of so much computer screen time, it’s such a joy to see children playing board games they might not have known existed in years gone by.”

Enjoying a game of snakes and ladders at Woodpeckers care home in BrockenhurstTeacher Justina Hudson said: “This is a great way for our children to learn the skills to be around the older generation, especially if they have little or no contact with a grandparent themselves. Already, they look forward to the Friday trips as a fun learning experience and the chance to spend time with people who typically have fascinating stories to tell about their long lives.”

Woodpeckers’ link with Brockenhurst Primary is one of the aspects of care singled out for praise by sector regulator the Care Quality Commission. In a recent report rating Woodpeckers as Outstanding, inspectors wrote: “The schoolchildren’s weekly visits raise the morale of people living at the home and are a way of recognising and responding to people's needs for social interaction and mental stimulation.”

The link with Brockenhurst Primary is one part of Colten Care’s wider commitment to provide inter-generational companionship for residents. Across its 19 other homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, the family-owned provider is developing similar links with schools, Scout groups and other community organisations.




Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the local area, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home...

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington  Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington  Colten Care Linden House Lymington

Colten Care's Avon Reach  Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton  Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst



Recent News

Top dog joins in celebrations at Lymington care ho...
21 Mar 2018

Top dog joins in thank-you celebrations at Lymington care home Canine Partner, Mungo, helps to thank Linden House residents for charity donation. Residents at Linden House in Lymington said hello to an ‘amazingly clever’ disability assistance d [ ... ]

Durlston Court beach clean up Beach clean up and environmental lessons for Durls...
15 Mar 2018

Beach clean up yields shock volume of rubbish and "nurdles" ‘Eco-Durlston’ teaches schoolchildren about environmental issues Pupils of Durlston Court School were joined by their family, friends and members of the community on Saturday 10th Marc [ ... ]

Proposed play equipment at Deneside Copse, Penning...
15 Mar 2018

Proposed play equipment at Deneside Copse Pick your top three pieces of playground equipment by 2nd April Lymington and Pennington Town Council are currently carrying out a consultation with local children and residents as to which pieces of equipm [ ... ]

Appetite for Adventure produces pedal power!
13 Mar 2018

Appetite for Adventure produces pedal power! Greg James and Zoe Ball fuelled by Lymington business to complete Sport Relief Challenges. Radio and television celebrity Zoe Ball recently completed her BT Sport Relief Challenge, 'Zoe’s Hardest Roa [ ... ]

Go to top