New series of show that unites nursery children with the older generation

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The BAFTA-nominated Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds is returning to Channel 4.

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The five-part series will see a group of nursery children visit Lark Hill Village in Nottingham, the largest retirement community in the UK, in an attempt to prove that mixing two generations can transform the physical, social and emotional well-being of both age groups.

Residents at Lark Hill Village range in age from 60 to 102, and those featured in the programme include a 97-year-old karaoke-loving Dunkirk veteran, a 91-year-old honoured with an MBE, and a former Kodak film spooler.

The ten residents and ten four-year-olds will share daily activities designed by a team of experts which includes a gerontologist, consultant geriatrician, physiotherapist, and early years specialist Alistair Bryce-Clegg.

The team will measure and analyse the impact the children have on the mood, movement and mobility of the older group.

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Following the 2017 series, the experiment has been extended from six to ten weeks, allowing the team to observe the younger group as well to see how they benefit from interaction with residents.

The experts hope to deliver evidence of the project’s positive impact with the aim of creating a longer-term template for transforming elderly care across the UK.

St Monica Trust in Bristol, which ran the Cote Lane retirement village featured in the first series, announced it would be establishing a permanent nursery at one of its sites following its participation in the project.

Channel 4’s acting head of factual entertainment, Lucy Leveugle, said, ‘We are absolutely delighted to be supersizing Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds by taking it to the UK’s largest retirement community for a longer period of time. The continuing legacy of this series is testament to the universality of the issue of social isolation and loneliness. Both the older residents and the children’s stories are compelling and heart-warming and we are so grateful to them for sharing them with us.’

Murray Boland, creative director for CPL Productions, added, ‘We are so proud to be making a second series of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. It is the most important programme that any of us have ever made.’

Earlier this year United for All Ages launched a campaign to help create 500 centres for all ages across the UK by 2023.

Stephen Burke, director of United for All Ages, said, ‘The benefits of mixing are huge - from helping children learn and develop to reducing loneliness and improving the health of older people. And there are wider benefits for families and our society which is often segregated by age, with many youngsters not meeting older people.

‘Bringing older and young people together can tackle myths and stereotypes, increase mutual understanding and address big issues like ageism and improving care. Mixing matters for all of us - whatever our age. That’s why we are working to create centres for all ages in every community.’

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'Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds' begins on Monday 8 October at 9pm on Channel 4.

  • Intergenerational care and co-location is the subject of a session at Nursery World's Business Summit on 14 November in London. Stephen Burke and Denise Burke of United for All Ages will look at the benefits of shared nursery and care home sites and how to make it happen. Book your place at http://www.nurserybusiness-summit.com/home
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