Acorns ‘n’ Oaks: Weekly Playgroups in Care homes unite generations

Every week children are visiting local care homes for the elderly in Bristol and beyond, bringing their toys, songs and most importantly smiles and love.

In many care homes, elderly residents receive very few visitors from week to week; many suffer from loneliness and depression. And many young children are growing up without grandparents nearby: Links between the generations are being lost, and these playgroups are helping to reconnect them.

Thanks to Acorns ‘n’ Oaks, over 200 volunteer parents and children from Bristol and beyond have chosen a playgroup with a difference. Hosted by care homes for the elderly, the children brighten people’s days, just by being themselves.

In one year the project has grown from a single group, to 25 registered groups with an ever-increasing waiting list. In order to support the groups and allow this growth, they are crowdfunding at

Acorns ‘n’ Oaks Playgroups create happiness, joy and wellbeing by bringing children and older people together.

“The children make my heart feel happy” confided one resident, and in another care home, staff have reported that “Residents are asking for their breakfast to be served earlier on Mondays, so they can secure a seat in the lounge ready for the visit, such is the demand to see the children”

Dr Jennie Ferrell from the University of the West of England is an expert in Child Development and Intergenerational Contact. Her support is not only as a Volunteer Group Leader, but by bringing students from the Psychology department to study the benefits that these sessions can bring to all generations participating. She plans to explore the best activities to promote wellbeing and positive attitudes in all generations involved.

Acorns’n’Oaks Playgroups CIC (Community Interest Company) is a not-for-profit and has started a fundraising campaign. This is essential to support growth to meet demand, where many groups have long waiting lists and new carehomes continue to register to start a group.

Donate now at to keep bringing happiness, joy and wellbeing into care homes within Bristol and beyond.