A NEW project to link up residents of care homes for the elderly and pupils from local schools will be launched tomorrow across Trafford.

Council bosses hope the borough's Intergenerational Partnership will benefit all those involved,

Already schools and care homes for 15 such link-ups have been identified across Sale, Altrincham, Hale, Timperley, Stretford, Urmston, Old Trafford and Flixton.

Trafford's Mayor Cllr Rob Chilton hopes both pupils and care homes residents will team up to forge new friendships and learn from each other.

Already a pilot project involving Urmston Manor Care Home on Church Road and Urmston Primary School in nearby Hereford Grove has led the way.

This has seen pupils visit the care home and talk, play, and even sing, with the residents.

Simon Parker, headteacher at Urmston Primary, said: “The children love visiting Urmston Manor.

“They love the opportunity to show their kindness and respect to the residents and it really does help to address any misconceptions they may have about people in care homes.

“The staff at Urmston Manor are great and this helps our children get so much out of their visits. They come away so happy because they’ve made the residents there happy and that’s so lovely to see.”

Martyn Davies, director of Urmston Manor Care Home, added: “There can be a lack of understanding about what’s it’s like to grow old and there’s often a stigma around the issue of dementia.

“By meeting residents, the children can realise that they are just the same as they are. They like talking and playing games and just enjoying life really. This link-up is of immense benefit to both generations.”

It is hoped the scheme will enable people living in care homes become more involved in their local community and feel better about themselves while the children will benefit from relationships with older people they might not otherwise come into contact with and learn about our recent and local history through the life experiences of the adults they meet.

Cllr Chilton said: “It is wonderful talking to care home residents. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience but too often they don’t get to share that. Our children will now be able to speak to the residents and learn so much. At the same time, the residents can learn from the pupils and form new bonds with the next generation.”