Helping Hands is a project-based PSHE programme that helps primary schools build links with older people in the local community.
It creates experiences that builds children's social and emotional learning, reduces isolation and grows older people's independence.
How it works
Helping Hands brings primary school children into retirement homes to take part in creative, educational activities.
Each programme consists of six sessions delivered over six weeks. We work with a group of older people from a retirement home, and a primary school class from a nearby school.
Helping Hands is based on three key components: purpose, learning and connection.
At every stage in life, taking part in purposeful activity contributes positively to wellbeing and increases an individual’s self-efficacy. However, this need is often completely forgotten when it comes to older people, even in a society where retirement can often last 30 or more years.
On our programme older people make a genuine contribution to children’s learning and recover this valuable sense of purpose and self-confidence.
Our immersive, educational experiences offer something a bit out of the ordinary for schools and retirement homes.
By bringing children into a new environment, getting them to talk to different people, and work collaboratively on team projects over the 6 week programme, we challenge them to go outside their comfort zone and learn in new ways. Our programme helps children meet key PSHE learning objectives, understanding more about the wider world and their place within it, as well as developing empathy and confidence.
Our programme runs in retirement homes and brings in pupils from local primary schools.
Taking part in a fun and high-intensity activity forges new friendships and connections within the group. These community connections often last beyond the programme and develop into regular contact.