United Kingdom (London)
Songs & Smiles brings music, fun and friendship to 0-4 year olds, their grown-ups and older adults in care homes and sheltered housing. The joy-filled weekly hour-long sessions are held in the residents’ lounge and bring parts of the community together to sing, move, play and forge new connections. The beauty is in the reciprocity - it’s not about one group doing something ‘for’ another, it’s people coming together for mutual benefit. Young children have older adults in their lives as regular playmates, helping to create positive perceptions as they grow. Parents have the opportunity to demonstrate positive behaviours for their children - kindness, empathy, patience - as well as experiencing a reduction in the isolation that new parenthood can often bring. And the older people experience a range of benefits, from reductions in loneliness to greater wellbeing, from Improvements in motor skills and cognitive functions to a sense of connection to the wider world around them. As of the end of November the project will be running weekly in 21 care homes and sheltered housing schemes across the country. Our goal is to expand as far and wide as possible, giving everyone that wants to be involved the chance to experience the joy, togetherness and community spirit that our sessions promote.
Louise Goulden, Founder