Parents in Horsforth encouraged to take children to visit pensioners over the festive period

By Lewis Oldham

A Horsforth dad has spoken about how important it is to bring the younger generation and pensioners together over Christmas.

Danny Bowley regularly takes his daughter, Imogen, to sessions set up under a new Horsforth scheme that encourages parents to take their children to visit residents in old people’s homes.

He spoke of how rewarding it is as a parent to see “the joy it brings the residents”.

“Imogen has really taken to them and they have taken to her. She sits and has dinner at the table with some ladies and their face brightens up the minute the kids arrive.

“I go home feeling like I have done some good, so the scheme is massively important to me. Imogen will grow up with a fondness and bond with some elders that might not have many bonds with anyone outside the home.”

Winefride Penrose pictured with Danny Cowley’s daughter, Imogen

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Generations scheme has a main hub that runs across Leeds, with a lot of local groups being located around West Yorkshire, including one in Horsforth.

Rohana Mir is another local resident who has spoken up to encourage other parents to take their youngsters to visit pensioners in old people’s homes.

“Children bring joy to so many people,” she said. “There are so many elderly people in old people’s homes who do not have anyone visiting them or checking in on them.

“I think we need to encourage people to firstly keep in touch with the relatives they have in their own family and secondly take care of those in their local community.

“Something as simple as taking some treats to a local nursing home would bring immense joy to someone who might otherwise be very lonely over the holiday period.”

Parents have pointed out that this scheme could help to give children an appreciation for their elders that they might not otherwise have.

Winefride Penrose, 93, is a local resident who said how important it was to her that children come to visit.

“I love having the kids come to see me, it really reminds me of my youth. I think it is very good to see how nice the newest generation of children are today.”

The NCT group in Horsforth meet up every Wednesday afternoon. For more information about NCT Leeds, follow this link.

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