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Hallmark launch Play Garden initiative

Children could be begging their parents to visit older relatives this autumn thanks to a pioneering partnership between Hallmark Care Homes Foundation and London Play.

The play charity will be unveiling what is hoped to be the first of many ‘Play Gardens’ at multi-award-winning care provider, Hallmark’s newest care home Midford Manor, when it opens in Bath later this year. 

Announced in what is Global Intergenerational Week, the garden will offer a perfect setting for children and older people to come together following more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shaped by future care home residents and local children, the design of the garden will be inspired in part by memories of residents’ own childhood play experiences. Children will also be involved, with a “Design Your Own Playground” competition for schools running throughout this spring.

Older people’s reminiscences will be captured in an illustrated ‘Book of Midford Manor Play Memories’, to be housed within the play structure for older residents to read to younger visitors to the play garden.

Stephen Burke, CEO of Hallmark Foundation said: “We are delighted to fund London Play to create the country’s first Play Garden. It will promote intergenerational interaction in the new care home and encourage a family friendly environment where children will love visiting their older relatives. It’s a win-win for all generations and we hope it will encourage other care homes to use their outdoor space creatively.”

General Manager of Midford Manor Care Home, Carol Britton said: “We are delighted that Hallmark are pushing the boundaries and that we will have the opportunity to add a new and exciting level of innovative engagement to and with our local community. Making care homes accessible and inviting for all generations is absolutely imperative.”

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