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Local children and older people come together to fill time capsule for Solihull Retirement Village

Children from Haslucks Green Junior School have been offered the opportunity to contribute to a time capsule to be buried on the site of the new Solihull Retirement Village in Shirley.

The school became custodians of the time capsule at a launch event on Friday 24th May, during Dementia Action Week (20-26 May), concluding a week of activity designed to educate the children on the ‘forget-me-not’ generation. The school will fill the capsule with examples of community work until the opening of the village in spring 2021.

The event forms part of a two-year intergenerational project between the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, a registered charity, and Haslucks Green Junior School to raise awareness and understanding of the two generations and how they can benefit from time spent with each other. It follows the success of the charity’s participation in Channel 4’s BAFTA-nominated Old People’s Home for 4 Year-Olds late last year.

Amongst those present at the ceremony were Bill Cobb, aged 76 from Longbridge Retirement Village. Bill was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in July last year and spent time with the children earlier this week, joining them for a forest school session.

Bill’s wife, Ann Cobb, 73, said: “It has made him feel that he still has a purpose. He has enjoyed being with the children and being able to talk to them, and go round the forest garden. It’s just been fantastic, he’s loved every minute and wants to come back more.”

Liz Hollingshead, Project Development Coordinator at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust comments: “It was lovely to see the two generations come together today and hear the children talk about what they have learned so far. It was clear from both the younger and older people that they have thoroughly enjoyed it. We know both age groups can benefit mentally and physically from time spent with each other, which is why intergenerational activity continues to be a focus for us and why we have included a children’s play area within our plans for the new Solihull Village.”

Items added to the time capsule included a book of drawings by pupils of their grandparents. Guests at the event, which included residents from Longbridge Retirement Village, Lizzie Edwards and Julia Phillips from Solihull Council and Mary Keddy, Dementia Support Worker from the Alzheimer’s Society, were also entertained by midlands-based Orchestra of the Swan.

Carol Taylor, Head Teacher at Haslucks Green Junior School comments: “The children have got so much out of meeting the residents of Longbridge Retirement Village and they are learning so much. It’s exciting them to learn about dementia and this week has put into context the work we’re doing. We’re really looking forward to the next few years, and when there are people living at the village that can engage closely with the school. It’s going to be great fun for the future.”

The 261-home retirement village, currently being developed on the former Powergen site, is a partnership between The ExtraCare Charitable Trust and Solihull Metropolitan Council with Homes England also contributing £2.5m.

One and two bedroom apartments will be available for outright sale, shared ownership and social rent.  Applications open in August this year for people who are looking to purchase, or part-purchase an apartment, and over 1,500 households have already registered their interest.

Care and support will be available within the village to residents if they need it, delivered by ExtraCare’s dedicated care team.  ExtraCare’s award-winning well-being and specialist dementia services will be located in the village centre offering support and advice, empowering residents to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle.

A community based Locksmith – dementia support worker - recruited by the charity, has already begun its work with local Solihull residents living with dementia. When the village officially opens, the Locksmith will work one-to-one with the village residents to develop tailor-made support and activities.

Solihull Retirement Village is set to become a vibrant community where older people, volunteers, friends and families can enjoy a range of social and leisure facilities including a village hall, bar and bistro, gym, library, hair and beauty salon and a shop all of which can be used by residents, their families and the local community.

For those considering a move to the Solihull Retirement Village, Ann comments: “If you move into the village you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet a variety of people, you can join in many different activities and interests. But if you’d prefer, you can go back to your apartment for alone time. It’s so wonderful to have all of this available at the village without having to go out and search for it all. It has given us both a new lease of life, full and meaningful.”

ExtraCare’s award winning well-being service will also help residents to look after their health. Recent research released by the charity with Aston and Lancaster Universities found that ExtraCare residents exercise more, are less anxious and less likely to fall, contributing to significant cost savings for the NHS in reduced hospital stays and routine GP appointments falling by 46 per cent after a year. 

For more information please visit: extracare.org.uk/Solihull-village

ENDS

For more information please contact: Cheryl Flounders on 02476 507 917 or at cheryl.flounders@extracare.org.uk

 The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

ExtraCare is a registered charity established in 1988 and based in Coventry. Our vision is better lives for older people and our mission is creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed. To deliver our vision and mission we essentially do three things:

Each village or scheme has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to our residents, volunteers and local people representing all age groups living in surrounding communities. Our Charity Shops help fund care and well-being services for older people living at our each of our locations. 

extracare.org.uk