Tuneful tots belted out happy birthday to retired office clerk Norma Porter when they paid a heart-warming visit to the care home where she lives.
The children from Welsh language nurseries Cylch Meithrin Bro Alun and Cylch Meithrin Summerhill called to see residents at Pendine Park’s Hillbury care home in Wrexham.
The visit was organised as part of a project to bridge the generation gap.
While they were there the youngsters, aged between two and four years old, found out Norma was celebrating her 78th birthday and sang to her in Welsh and English.
Norma said: “To have the children sing happy birthday to me was the most wonderful thing in the world. It was lovely, and they were very good too. It means an awful lot to me that they sang happy birthday.
“The children and wonderful and they just brighten up the room. It’s one of the loveliest birthday presents I’ve ever had, without a doubt. They’ve created such a wonderful atmosphere for me. It’s something that I’ll remember for a very long time.”
Elin Williams, the leader of Cylch Meithrin Bro Alun, said: “It’s an opportunity for children to get to know the older generation, and to join in the community.
It’s a great partnership we have with Pendine Park. A lot of children don’t have grandparents in their lives. Because of that they don’t have a lot of opportunities to interact with older people. We think it’s important that the learn respect for older people and people who are older than them.
“It’s a way of making sure that the children don’t lose that link and don’t miss out. They learn how to talk with different people, and people of different ages.
“They learn to appreciate older people too. The children are enjoying themselves a great deal and they love getting all this attention. When they come in, they just make an instant connection.
Rhiannon Fradsham, the leader of Cylch Meithrin Summer Hill, said: “The children were so excited about coming here. Some of them were travelling on a bus for the first time to get here, so they’re getting new experiences.
“The children appreciated people who want to talking with them and spend time with them. for some of these children, their grandparents have passed away or aren’t around.
“A lot of them come from English speaking backgrounds, so the nursery is where they get their first taste of the Welsh language. They’re taking to the language like ducks to water and are learning it really quickly.
“More and more parents are looking into Welsh medium education for their children in Wrexham. It’s growing so fast.
“Pendine Park seems like a wonderful place, and it was really nice for them to extend the invitation for us to come here.”
Pendine Park resident Gwendoline Davies-Barret, 90, said: “It’s lovely to see the little ones here. They’re all so cuddly, and they’re very sweet.
“We’ve been talking to them, and they’ve been telling us what they want from Father Christmas. They’re very excited about Christmas.
Enrichment and activities coordinator Gerry Humphreys said: “It’s amazing to have the children here. You just have to look at the faces of the residents, and he smiles. The children and so full of happiness and joy, and you just can’t beat it.
“It’s good for the residents and the children to get to know each other. It’s great for the staff too.
“It’s lovely to have all the singing as well, and when they come back again, we’re going to be doing games. We’ve got some nice intergenerational games we can play with them like snap and things like that.
“This is bridging the gap between the generations. Some of these children have possibly lost their grandparents so it’s nice for them to have the connection.”
Hillbury manager Cindy Clutton said: “We were delighted to welcome the children to meet the residents who had a wonderful time.
“They got on like a house on fire and there were plenty of hugs during what was a really heart-warming session.”