This is how residents at retirement village featured on Old People’s Home for Four-Year-Olds are celebrating Christmas

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Residents and staff at Clifton’s Lark Hill retirement village have been celebrating the festive season and getting into the true Christmas spirit.

The village has more than 420 residents, aged 60 to 102 and has its own gym, shop and restaurant.

It has been decked out in lights, Christmas trees and a specially designed Santa’s grotto has been included to welcome schoolchildren visiting.

Lark Hill became well-known after it featured on Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.

It showed four-year-old children striking up friendships with residents at the village.

During 10 weeks of filming, the aim of the show’s experiment was to reduce loneliness for residents at the retirement village.

Schoolchildren visited the village in December to spend time with the residents and enjoy the festivities.

One resident, Thora James, 78, was one of the first to move into the village nine years ago.

“It’s really beautiful”, she said on the village’s Christmas celebrations.

Santa's Grotto at Lark Hill retirement village
Santa’s Grotto at Lark Hill retirement village

“It’s really Christmassy. The kids absolutely loved coming to see Santa’s grotto. It’s lovely to have the children come in and mix with us and was quite emotional really.

“We get a lot of outsiders coming into the village which is really nice. It’s nice to be in contact with the outside world and we’re not just tucked away.

“I don’t know where else you could go to get as much love and care as we do here. All older people should be in places like this.

Some residents in the village set up a Christmas fair on December 5. There were 24 stalls set up that helped raised money for the village.

One of the residents who helped organise it was Sylvia Parker, 73, who has also been at the village for nine years.

She said: “We do a lot of activities here running up to Christmas.

“The fair was a real success. It was open to anyone and we had a lot of people come and visit.

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“The decorations look great around the village and it’s a really nice atmosphere.”

Vicky Merryweather, activities coordinator at Lark Hill Retirement Village added: We spend a lot of time planning for Christmas, we invite the local school to come in and sing carols, and order up to 500 mince pies.

“We have a Santa’s Grotto on site for our annual Christmas fair and the staff spend a lot of time with the residents to decorate the Village and, sometimes, helping them to put up their own trees.

“So all in all, it’s fair to say we’re feeling festive.”

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