THE smiles on their faces says it all.

Youngsters from Norman Street Primary School in Carlisle enlighten the lives of elderly residents at The Henry Lonsdale home at Rosehill, near Aglionby.

Every few weeks the children pop in to chat to residents and take part in crafts, activities and singing.

Annie Pendlebury is the home's activities officer.

She said: "The residents love anything to do with children and animals. It is so refreshing for them and both things bring them a lot of joy. They love it when the children come.

"We also bring in rabbits from time to time and they love seeing those as well."

Sat round a large dining table, the children and residents happily make Easter pom pom chickens by winding yellow wool around a cardboard template.

Alison Jones, manager at the home, said: "It's amazing to see the children and adults interacting together.

"The children bring them a lot of pleasure and it is heartwarming to see."

Ann Ashbridge, has been a resident at the home on the outskirts of Carlisle, for a year. She said: "I love it when the children come. I've got grandchildren and great grandchildren myself and it's lovely to see them.

"When they sing it's lovely."

Bea Beaty, nine, said: "I like coming to the home. I came with the choir. I like chatting to the old people and making stuff with them."

Adi Hussain, nine, is a regular visitor. He said: "It's nice to come. On one visit we made poppies."

Former teacher and resident Fiona Hill says the children remind her of a class she taught at that age.

She said: "I used to teach in Wythenshawe in Manchester. I taught a similar age group so it's nice to have that connection."

Bronte Dawson, nine, who was making pom poms with Fiona said: "I like making the residents happy."

The school choir sings for the residents at the home every Christmas.

Carolyn Murray, headteacher, said: "We were asked by the staff if we could come along on a more regular basis and work with the residents on little projects.

"Staff in school are currently taking a group of around eight children once every two weeks to work on musical or art activities. Both adults and children are loving their time together.

"The chatter and the buzz is lovely to see. The nuclear family is not as common as it was so it's nice that we are able to establish that link between young and old."

Research has shown that adults who experienced close intergenerational interaction are less prone to depression and have better physical health, as well as being happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future.