An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as ‘little elves’ have helped OAP’s at a care home get into the festive spirit.
The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness.
The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the ‘Little Elves Events’ to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
The charity, which holds these community projects in a number of care homes across Norfolk, say they aim to create friendship across generations.
Kelly Lindsay, who founded Friend in Deed, said: “It’s vital that we find better ways to look after older people in our communities.
“Loneliness is a massive issue and it can affect people of any age but it can easily be overcome by teaching people to be kind, empathetic and more connected from a young age.
“The babies have that heartfelt reaction and the older people don’t often get that.
“By bringing different age groups together, we can solve so many social issues at once.
“Friend in Deed and our little elves would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.”
One resident at Heathcote care home, in Norfolk, Robin Tungate, 77, said he looks forward to occasion every week.
The 77-year-old granddad adds: “I see the little visitors every week, they are very good and they help all of us.
“It makes you feel like you want to turn the clock back.
“It makes the days more entertaining, we are ever so pleased to see them when they come.
“You look forward to these events.”
Katy Walker, mum to little elf Jaxon, who is two-months-old, said: “It is really lovely, it gets us out of the house and all the other mums who would just be at home alone with their baby.
“It works in both favours.
“Jaxon just cuddles everyone, it is a good day out for him as well, he definitely a nap after.
“This is actually my first visit, but I used to work in the care home so I am aware of the programme”.
Friend In Deed says there are benefits to interactions between young and older people including improvements in mood, mobility and grip strength while the children develop their empathy and communication skills.
Rachel Brooks, mother to 15-month-old twin girls, Poppy and Daisy, dresses the little girls up as elves often bringing them on a weekly basis.
She said: “We trying and do it as often as we can.
“They love it, they are quite nosey so they love to be able to walk around and see everyone picking up everything – usually with me just chasing them behind them.
“It is lovely to see I get quite emotional about it, and I love being with the elderly as well.”
The little elves are aged between two-months-old and six years old and visit ten care homes in Norfolk and one in Suffolk.
Kelly adds: “We want to make it when people have children they think we need to go to the care home to spend time with the elderly.
“It helps everybody, it helps mums and babies to interact and gives company to the older generation – it can do quite magical things.”
Friend in Deed also work with Independence Matters in Norwich and King’s Lynn supporting their day centres for older people and those living dementia.
Please see Friend in Deed Facebook page to find out when the next event is.