I’ve been a Storyteller and song time leader for many years. Back in South East London, I was commissioned by an Anglican Church to create and launch the Truth Be Told (TBT) storytelling curriculum to breath new life into their playgroup. Now based in Poole, and struck by the number of care homes in our area, I decided to launch a similar group in this setting. I’m also a mum of 3 children, so I know how important it is for us and our little ones to sing, story and socialise and I personally love the chance to have more fun with friends of all ages!

We’ve been running TBT groups in care homes since January 2019 and have even won the coveted Cinnamon Network Competition to help develop social action projects. This means TBT is able to bring more joy and more life to more homes for everyone’s benefit. All of this has absolutely confirmed that older adults are just you and me but… well… older! And that our need for joy, hope, fun, laughter and family never ends.

Gemma x


What’s on offer?

Before Covid, TBT delivered intergenerational storytelling groups in care homes. But this isn’t always going to be possible and we can’t let physical restrictions stop the joy and life of being family together. And so now there are different activities available such as pen-pal style craft, Zoom sessions and outdoor groups. The activity available may vary from week to week depending on how practicable it is to be in close physical proximity with care home residents but you can be certain that it will be high-quality and worthwhile.

What can I expect?

Each week, during term time, TBT has a storytelling theme (such as Water or Transport or Safari) and a bible-based truth (such as I am Loved or I am Special or I am Welcome). Our Storytellers use a special bag covered in pockets and full of props to bring these themes and truths to life and make the activity for the week as creative, interactive and responsive as possible.

Here’s a little more information on what to expect for each activity:

Pen-pal style craft

Aim? To give families a creative focus and an opportunity to easily enjoy their children whilst bringing joy to care home residents

How? We know that it can be tricky to think of what to create with your child and then finding and funding the resources can be even harder! Then there’s the mess!? We will give you ideas of what to create so that you can select the most fun and doable option for you and your child. These will range from setting up a tea party scene with your teddies and taking a pictures to creating a spider with dangly legs and so much more! You can then easily email or message pictures of your creations to your TBT group and the care home will respond with their creations too. You may be pal-ed up with a specific resident or there may be a group who are involved.

Virtual sessions

Aim? To give children the chance to sing songs, listen to a story and share their family with care home residents who will enjoy the life and laughter that they bring. Zoom sessions also give the opportunity for families to ‘meet’ with other local, likeminded families.

How? The Storyteller will send around the Zoom link to the families in the group and the care home, all of whom will log on for the session which will last for approximately 45 minutes. Using our special bag, we introduce the theme by creatively greeting everyone involved, we sing some beautifully recorded, memorable nursery rhymes and do all of the actions. We then listen to a short 5 minute story and have some bubbles before saying goodbye to our friends of all ages. We try to keep our sessions as energetic and interactive as possible and we love and encourage spontaneous contributions of everyone in the group both young and old!

Outdoor groups

Aim? To give families the chance to enjoy an active, creative, outdoor session together whilst safely including care home residents in their fun.

How? The Storyteller will lead the group with a similar structure to the Zoom session above but they will make sure that it is energetic, active and loud which will be really fun for the children and thoroughly entertaining for residents who maybe watching from their windows. Depending on the time of year and the weather, the group will last approximately 45 minutes but will take place come rain or shine!

Face to face sessions

Aim? To give families and residents the opportunity to participate in an activity together that is beneficial for all whilst enjoying each other’s company and appreciating everyone’s contributions.

How? (The following elements can be adapted to make them as safe as possible when the restrictions allow)

10:30 – All the families meet together at the care home, we sign in and write our name labels.

10:40 – We are taken up to the resident’s lounge, entering with a song and lots of smiles.

10:45 – The Storyteller introduces the theme and we say ‘hello’ in fun and imaginative ways!

10:50 – Our little friends pick props out of the special TBT bag and they share (with your help!) an item with one of our older friends. The prop corresponds to a nursery rhyme and we sing it together.

11:00 – Story time! We all get involved, included and encouraged by the tale of the day.

11:05 – After a little bit of listening, we need a good jiggle so we dance to something vintage and encourage everyone who can move in any way to join in.

11:10 – There’s time for a few more pockets, props and songs.

11:20 – We blow bubbles, play with a parachute and listen to a calming song.

11:25 – Sticker time!

11:30 – The care home provide a light lunch for the children, things like hummus, breadsticks, vegetable sticks, fruit and little sandwiches. And we get to have a cuppa! We can then sip, nibble and chat with each other and the residents.

12:00 – Feel free to leave when it’s right for you and your little one.

Benefits to families

  • TBT encourages children’s creativity and language development.
  • TBT encourages children’s imagination and self-confidence as everyone’s contributions are welcome and valued.
  • TBT provides a place for families to connectwith others in the community.
  • Parents have the chance to see their children bringing joy to those who need it.
  • Parents have the chance to enjoy the company of and connect with older adults.
  • TBT offers the chance to be a part of changing the stigma of society by highly valuing care home residents.

What are people saying?

I took my two girlies to TBT at Regency Manor today. What a heartwarming experience. We have been to many types of playgroups and singalong type things before to mostly just fill time and simply entertain the kids, but this was such a beautifully deep and meaningful time. The storytelling and songs were great, engaging everyone and overflowing with enthusiasm and seeing everyone singing and playing catch with the balloons was fab, but the best bit was the conversations with my 4 year old in the car on the way home…the questions it sparked about ‘Pat’ and ‘Fred’ who she met. It made me realise how alien and separated the generations are and how wonderful it was to be part of healing that gap.” 


Group Mum

Find a TBT Group

Please find a group below, sign up and reserve your place. The Storyteller will then contact you directly by email with further details. Then tell your friends about this new group you’re going to be a part of! Our hope is that TBT will benefit our community but that can only happen with the help of special people like you. If you have any questions, please do just get in touch.   

coming soon!

dates to be announced…get in touch t o register your interest