Nightingale House celebrates outstanding intergenerational care as Apples & Honey Nightingale Turns One

Residents from Nightingale House, a Jewish residential care home in South London, part of the wider Nightingale Hammerson charity, joined together with their younger friends at the UK’s first onsite nursery in a care home Apples & Honey Nightingale, to celebrate its first anniversary. Apples & Honey Nightingale was just one of the in-house initiatives at Nightingale House lauded by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last month, when they awarded the home the British Jewish community’s first ever Outstanding rating for an older people’s care home.

Feedback from relatives highlighted the initiative as something to be “highly commended”. Inspectors agreed, as they concluded “it was evident by the amount of laughter, smiles and hand-holding going on between the children from the nursery and the people living in the home that they knew each other well and really enjoyed one another’s company”.

Apples & Honey is the UK’s first nursery to successfully incorporate intergenerational activity into the daily delivery of the nursery curriculum and care for the home’s older residents. Meaningful intergenerational activity is at the heart of the everyday programme for both age groups, helping to break down barriers between the generations.

At the party, singer/ songwriter Jessie Ware was revealed as Apples & Honey Nightingale’s first-ever patron. Having grown up in Clapham, Jessie was familiar with Nightingale House and its reputation for providing outstanding care, and members of her family had even volunteered in the community home throughout her childhood. Having learnt of the opening of the intergenerational nursery, Jessie was keen to lend the initiative her support.

Unveiling a mosaic designed by Nightingale House resident and former school teacher Walter Goldstein, and created collaboratively by residents and nursery children, Jessie paid tribute to the ground-breaking intergenerational initiative of which she said it was “the greatest pleasure and honour” to be named as patron. “Seeing their work, I am so proud to be a small part of this progressive, inspiring and nurturing community. Pioneers in their field, I am positive that Apples and Honey Nightingale will inspire many more intergenerational nurseries around the UK,” she added.

Alastair Addison, Head of Activities at Nightingale Hammerson, said: “This inaugural year of bringing the pre-school children and residents together on-site, to take part in activities together and just enjoy each other’s company, has been an exciting and rewarding time for residents, children and staff alike. Real friendships, in which individuals can express their unique personalities to the other, have flourished between residents and children, enriching the lives of both. It has been humbling, gratifying and very special to see how worthwhile this apparently ‘simple’ idea has been. We’ve only just begun to explore the potential benefits of this initiative and I am excited for the future as it continues to evolve.”

Judith Ish-Horowicz, Principal and Co-founder of Apples & Honey Nightingale, said: “I am so delighted to be celebrating this landmark in Apples & Honey Nightingale’s history, in a year which has seen our special initiative recognised as a leader in intergenerational care in this country. Having demonstrated how valuable joint programmes between young and old are for both groups, we look forward to helping other care providers to create successful models of intergenerational engagement.”