Elderly men and women in the Cote Lane lounge

Even the Lord Mayor is a fan!

The Lord Mayor of Bristol visited St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement community to highlight organisations that are helping to combat social isolation in the city.

Following the Channel 4 documentary, Old People’s Home For Four Year Olds, the Lord Mayor met with the residents who took part in the show and staff to discuss their work in helping raise awareness of the issues that affect older people.

Ground-breaking social experiment

Old People’s Home For Four Year Olds was broadcast on Channel 4 this summer in the hope of revolutionizing the way we care for older people.

The ground-breaking social experiment aimed to prove that bringing together retirement community residents and preschool children can help transform the lives of the older volunteers for the better.

Eleven St Monica Trust residents and ten children from local Bristol preschools were selected for the two-part programme with filming taking place over six-weeks at the Trust’s Cote Lane retirement community.

The St Monica Trust residents speak openly about the issues facing older people, including their struggles with depression, lack of mobility and loneliness.

How to tackle isolation in Bristol

The Lord Mayor discussed the topics with residents today to help understand how best to tackle isolation in the city of Bristol.

 The Lord Mayor committed to tackling isolation in the elderly when she was elected into the ceremonial role earlier this year.

Lord Mayor Lesley Alexander commented: “I am incredibly impressed with St Monica Trust’s work to encourage intergenerational communities and the results of the Channel 4 documentary earlier this summer so it was a pleasure to visit Cote Lane today and meet residents and staff.

It’s a great ambition of mine to make life much more enjoyable for people living in isolation, especially older people and those who are stuck in their home and unable to get out and get help. The work of the Trust highlights the exemplary work that is being done in the city to tackle this and I encourage others to follow suit.

Creating open communities

David Williams, chief executive, St Monica Trust commented:

We were delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor today to further discuss the issues that affect older people. At the Trust we have a strong desire to create open communities that actively encourage contact across different generations. The ground-breaking experiment with Channel 4 earlier this year has only strengthened our desire to develop this work in Bristol and we have committed  to introducing a children’s nursery at one of our retirement communities.

The St Monica Trust operates retirement communities across Bristol and North Somerset and its fifth retirement community, The Chocolate Quarter will open in Keynsham later this year.

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