Children and elderly residents found themselves new neighbours this week, after a Jewish nursery based on the campus of a Jewish care home opened its doors at Nightingale House in south London.

Those behind this first-of-its-kind initiative say the Apples & Honey Nursery will provide “meaningful intergenerational activity” between older residents and children “with the goal of building relationships”.

The first week’s programme includes making soup harvested from the vegetables planted by residents and children at the nursery launch in June, painting alphabet tiles together designed by 89-year old resident Walter Goldstein.

Residents will visit the nursery and the children will interact with the care home in a programme of activities led both by nursery and Nightingale Hammerson staff, designed to deliver an Early Years Curriculum.

“This innovative and inspirational social project is run with a Jewish ethos, but is open to children of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds,” said organisers.

“This ethos extends to welcoming Shabbat with the traditional Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony each week, led by Nightingale’s religious advisor Rafi Fuchs.”

The nursery is Ofsted-registered and is being run as a social enterprise. It will cater for 30 children, with 20 percent of places being allocated to Nightingale Hammerson staff, with an emphasis on the most specialist care-related posts.

“This is the culmination of a long-held dream of mine,” said Judith Ish-Horowicz of Apples & Honey. “I’m so excited to see it become a reality…I hope this will become a model for other care home and nursery providers.”