Back to Life


Newbyres Nursery received so much help from the local community during their recent renovation that they wanted to forge strong links with the community. Newbyres Nursery were so impressed with hearing reports from America where preschools were working closely with care homes for the elderly and the incredible benefits that it brought to both the very young and the very old that they decided to try it out. Although still in its infancy the project is proving very successful.

Benefits for the Community

  • Building long lasting community links and relationships between the younger and older people
  • Building partnerships and relationships between the nursery and the care home
  • Having fun and being energised

Benefits for the Younger People

  • Increased motor skills and turn taking
  • Having fun and meeting new friends
  • Making connections with older people in the community
  • Through sharing in an older adult’s interests, skills, and hobbies, children are introduced to new activities and ideas.

We are able to cover many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence, and obtain quality observations of the children’s learning and progress from our visits. Through their life experience, older adults can often bring with them a tremendous amount of patience. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes children pick up from elders tend to stick with them through life. We also noticed that these activities helped to develop children’s personalities and improved their behaviour.

Benefits for the Older People

  • Being part of the project has significantly increased the wellbeing for older people
  • A sense of purpose
  • Recognition and use of experience, talents and skills

Elderly residents seem to come alive with the breath of fresh air that the children bring to Newbyres Village each week. Their memory for everyday tasks may be waning, but suddenly they are brought back to the days that they looked after their own small children, reciting nursery rhymes and songs word for word that they may not have recalled for many, many years.

They have also built relationships with children and this has helped to tackle issues such as loneliness and vulnerability.


No funding was used – we take the children in the nursery minibus as part of their nursery day.


We evaluate through a noticeboard where children and parents can add comments. The children did a mind map saying what they enjoy most about our visits. If we had to do things differently we would develop the visits and think of new activities. We plan to continue and develop our weekly visits to Newbyres Village. During the summer we are planning some outdoor activities.

Local Priorities

One of our main Improvement Plan priorities is Community Involvement and this project amongst others such as our gardening club with older members of our community fits in very well with our improvement plan.

National Objectives

The work of the project supports the Governments drive to ensure Intergenerational work provides opportunities for all parties to be contributors to life in Scotland including: breaking down of barriers, improving opportunities for all, forging better links between young and old, maintaining health and well-being and offering learning opportunities.

SMARTER – Expanding opportunities to succeed from nurture through to lifelong learning ensuring higher and more widely shared achievements.

HEALTHIER – helping people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

Scottish NPF Outcomes

This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NPF). The project meets almost all the objectives but specifically the smarter and healthier objectives as it develops skills in young children and older people. It also develops a healthier lifestyle by encouraging physical activity.

Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens: To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century.

We live longer, healthier lives: Securing longer healthier lives for the people of Scotland will always be a top priority for governments and individuals alike. There are significant challenges which can only be addressed by everyone in Scotland working together, pursuing this goal through improving lifestyles and life circumstances, and a shared ownership of an effective NHS.