Older people from across Monmouthshire who visit Mardy Park in Abergavenny had a visit from some tiny tots from the Flying Start project at the Acorn Centre on St Valentine’s Day 14th February. Babies, toddlers and their parents visited the centre to socialise and engage with older people living with dementia who access day services.

The day of love was an opportunity for everyone to have fun together, making new memories and benefit from shared experiences. Everyone celebrated their love for their community by coming together to make Valentine crafts and singing, dancing and storytelling.

The Tiny Visitors group regularly attend Mardy Park; a community wellbeing hub for health, social care services and community groups primarily focussed on supporting local people aged 55 and over.

Tiny Visitors is a group made up of parents, babies and toddlers aged between 0-3 years of age who attend Flying Start.  Flying Start is a Welsh Government programme to improve the life chances of children aged 0 to 3 in targeted areas of Wales.

Beth Watkins Flying Start Manager said: “We love bringing our children and parents to Mardy Park. Intergenerational work such as this is so beneficial to the children parents and the older people.  To see the smiles on their faces from a simple activity such as singing emphasises that it this activity is essential to the wellbeing of all involved.”

Flying Start Monmouthshire would like to expand on the intergenerational links with communities and are currently looking for volunteers to help out in Monmouth, Caldicot and Chepstow. Volunteers will enhance the work of the programme. Volunteers will provide additional life skills with staff, parents and the children they support. From sharing stories and books to helping little ones learn gardening skills in the great outdoors. For more information contact Beth Watkins, phone 01873 856162 07810055815 or email bethwatkins@monmouthshire.gov.uk

Geoff Burrows Cabinet Officer for Health and Social Care said: “It’s magical to watch everyone having fun together, making new memories and benefiting from the shared experience. This is an example of one of many fantastic creative projects within Monmouthshire that takes an intergenerational approach to keeping the community alive and well.”