Children’s Hour at Dovecot Court

Dovecot Court, Eildon’s Extra Care development in Peebles was abuzz with excitement this week when local nursery class from Kingsland Primary School paid a visit.

The nursery children attend regularly but this was for a special visit dedicated to the enjoyment of books, storytelling and drawing through Eildon’s sponsorship of the Borders Book Festival and the promotion of inter-generational access to books and learning. This interactive session tied in with their weekly Older People Active Lives (OPAL) programme in conjunction with Eildon Housing and fellow charity, Cyrenians.

The OPAL programme takes place across all of Eildon’s supported and extra care developments and is helping to maintain and improve tenants’ social connections and  independence.

All ages watched and listened intently to a video recording of ‘Scaredy Bat’ by Jonathan Meres ‘(one of the many children’s books recommended by the Borders Book Festival).

Then Early Years Officer Katy Noble read out one of the children’s favourite stories entitled “A Sprinkle of Happiness” by Lucy Rowland.  An uplifting story about a little boy and his grandma finding a tiny sunflower seed which they plant together with surprising results. Katy explained that the plan is for the children to plant sunflowers in the garden at Dovecot during their next visit.

Dovecot Court’s Extra Care Housing Manager Maria Oliver said, “Sharing books and stories is a great way to bring inter-generational communities together and we know these experiences have proven to be mutually beneficial. We want to say a great big thank you to the staff and pupils from Kingsland Primary School for coming over to spend this special time with us at Dovecot Court.”

Nile Istephan, Eildon’s Chief Executive added, “We really value our ongoing relationship with the Borders Book Festival, and we are organising more activities like this one across all our supported and extra care sites in the Borders – some through the successful OPAL programme with Cyrenians. We know it is an incredibly worthwhile thing to do.”