Dunfermline tenants are helping toddlers develop language skills
OLDER members of the Dunfermline community have been brushing up on their nursery rhymes by joining in with weekly Bookbug sessions.
Tenants at Bield’s Gillie Court have been taking part in the popular rhyming and singing group, which is aimed at developing children’s speech and language skills in a relaxed, friendly environment.
Held in the retirement housing development’s communal lounge, tenants are able to join in with toddlers, parents and childminders, creating a unique, intergenerational session.
Julie Wasiak, who leads the groups, said: “We’ve been holding a Bookbug session here for just over a year. I’m also a childminder in the area and I saw the amazing bond between my own gran and the kids whenever she popped in for a visit.
“I thought it would be a great idea to hold a Bookbug session in a retirement development so I contacted a number of housing providers in the area.
“After my gran moved to Gillie Court, it naturally became the first choice and thankfully Bield were more than happy for us to hold the group here.
“The tenants can chose how much they want to participate in the sessions – some of them absolutely love it and get really involved in all the songs and others maybe aren’t as active as they once were and prefer to take back seat.”
Research suggests that intergenerational activities can be mutually beneficial to both young and old people, with studies showing improved emotional and social wellbeing.
Julie added: “You can see that the tenants and the kids really enjoy the group. One child was quite shy when he first started coming along but over time he has really come out of his shell and formed a bond with one tenant in particular.
“To see both their friendship and his confidence grow is really heart-warming.”
Joanne Page, Development Manager at Gillie Court, said: “Julie has been hosting the Bookbug sessions here for about a year now.
“They’re proving very popular with the tenants – we have some regulars who go along every week and it’s great to see them smiling and laughing with the kiddies.
“It reminds some of them of their own children and grandchildren and it’s great to see them remembering those happy memories.”
Gillie Court is a Bield development for those aged 60 and over who want to be able to retain their independence while having help on hand when needed.
Bield has been providing high quality housing and related services in Scotland for more than 40 years, investing, changing and innovating its services and operations to address the needs of the next generation of older people.
To find out more about Bield and its developments visit www.bield.co.uk
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