FRIENDLY gardening coupled with a cup of tea and cake has helped bring young and old in the community together.

The Intergenerational Project launched by the Chrysalis dementia support group in Hexham has been working with children from the Sele First School in Hexham over the past six weeks.

Similar to the premise seen on Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, the project works on the understanding that young children and senior citizens are good for each other.

Year 4 children at the Sele received a training course in dementia and received dementia friendly badges, before two children from each class – six in total – were chosen to attend the sessions with Chrysalis members.

They focused on gardening over the six weeks, using the space provided by Hexham’s Adapt Enterprise Hub, but working in pairs they also completed activities like jigsaws and writing poems together.

The project co-ordinator, Lola Plumb: “It has been brilliant. At the beginning nobody knows each other so it was ice breakers and doing fun things together.

“By the end they are all really quite friendly with each other. Last week they did jigsaws and you could see them, both the children and the members, coming out of themselves and just enjoying themselves.”

The children and Chrysalis members joined forces to plant everything from mixed herbs to flowers, with the supplies provided by Tom Martin of Wylam Nurseries, who also ran the sessions.

They have left behind some flowers for Adapt’s porch area, as well as herbs and vegetables which can be used by the chef at its community cafe. Teacher Rebecca Miller said: “It has been really lovely watching them work together.”