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10th Oct 2018

The internet is going mad over this touching intergenerational friendship

Amy Nolan

Beryl, 86, and Scarlett, four, prove friendship knows no age limitations.

Monday night, Channel 4’s Bafta-nominated show, Old People’s Home for 4-Year-Olds, screened the first episode of the second series. The programme pioneered the idea to relocate a group of pre-schoolers into a UK nursing home to prove that two starkly different age demographics could have positive effects on each other.

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The first series took place in Bristol last year and became immensely popular amongst viewers and the experiment proved to be hugely successful. Channel 4 reported that,

“A team of geriatric specialists medically tested the impact the children had on the older group and the results demonstrated significant improvements in mood, movement and mobility of the older group.

The first series had such a considerable impact that St Monica Trust in Bristol announced they would be establishing a permanent nursery at one of their sites.”

The new series takes place in Lark Hill Village in Nottingham, one of the largest nursing homes in the UK and Europe. It will be a slightly longer study this time around to further investigate the possible benefits of intergenerational friendships. If successful again, the model could be rolled out as a longer-term strategy for improved elderly care in the UK.

Amongst the ten older adults taking part is a ninety-seven-year-old Dunkirk Veteran, a ninety-one-year-old Samaritan and a former Kodak film spooler, but it’s eighty-six-year-old Beryl’s friendship with four-year-old Scarlett that has really tugged on our heartstrings so far.

The pair had an immediate bond when put together and were tasked to create a party invitation for ‘Mummy and Daddy’. To this request, Scarlett quickly replied, ‘No, my mum’s died, so Gran-Gran and Daddy.’

During the programme, Scarlett’s Dad explained that his wife, Sally, died of cancer just six months before the experiment began filming. He said that while it will always be a tragic event in his little girl’s life,

“I don’t want her to be the woman who’s life was wrecked by her mum dying when she was three.”

She may have lost a mum who can never be replaced, but Scarlett gained a best friend in Beryl and the pair even appeared on This Morning yesterday to chat to Eamonn and Ruth about their friendship.

Absolutely golden!