Balhousie Care Group takes inter-generational links to new ‘lengths’ – in the form of a unique tartan

A long-standing intergenerational relationship between care home residents and primary school pupils has been strengthened even more – with the creation of a unique tartan.

Residents at Balhousie North Inch North Grove care home in Perth and pupils from nearby Balhousie Primary School have been working with weaver Ashleigh Slater to create the Balhousie Intergenerational Tartan, in a series of workshops at the care home.

Balhousie North Inch North Grove’s Home Manager Sandra Brennan said the creation of the tartan is as also a celebration of Balhousie Primary School, which closes its doors in 2022. At a launch event for the tartan, the care home group handed over gifts customised with the Balhousie tartan to pupils. There was live music from Chris White and piping from Pipe Major Alistair Duthie. Also in attendance was John Fyffe, Deacon of the Weaver Incorporation of Dundee, who presented the care home with the official Scottish Register of Tartans certificate.

The tartan, which uses the blues and greys that feature in both the school and care home colours, also features a squirrel in recognition of the grey squirrels which live on the care home grounds.

Sandra said: “It’s a delight to be working so closely with Balhousie Primary School, and to see friendships formed between its pupils and our residents. The Balhousie Intergenerational Tartan bears the name of both our care home group and the school, and will be a lasting legacy for both – a permanent reminder of the links forged between the school and our North Inch North Grove home. We’re so grateful to Ashleigh and to our Activities Coordinator Mima Hird, for helping to make this happen.”

Ashleigh, of the Weaver Incorporation of Dundee and owner of Tartan Caledonia studio in Blairgowrie, said: “It’s been a delight working with the school pupils, residents and staff to create the Balhousie tartan. We hope to take this even further and create some more items out the tartan. Huge thanks to all involved – they’ve worked hard to make this happen.”

Balhousie Primary pupils’ bonds were captured in a set of videos for Balhousie Care Group last year. Katrina Dormer, a teacher at the school and one of the leaders of the intergenerational project, said the relationships forged between pupils and residents were “truly tremendous”.

Katrina said: “The school and the care home have been working together for many years. Our children visit on a weekly basis throughout the school year for game playing, sharing stories and singing songs with residents. It has been a pleasure to work alongside the staff of Balhousie North Inch North Grove to allow such positive friendships, and the Balhousie Intergenerational Tartan project has been a huge success thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of the children and residents.”

Watch Ashleigh Slater weaving the Balhousie Tartan.

Sandra Brennan and Mima Hird with Oor Wullie, modelling the new Balhousie Tartan.

Evan Currie and Adi Jagnath of Balhousie Primary School