TOTS and pensioners proved that 'age is just a number' as their intergenerational project won a major award for helping to tackle loneliness in the community.

Celebrations were underway for the little ones at Wellpark Children's Centre and their elderly friends at Hillend Day Centre after their 'Auld Yins & Wee Yins' scheme received national recognition.

The pioneering project, which has been running for the past five years, won an excellence award from the charity Generations Working Together

Ann-Marie Cunningham, who is the head of centre at Wellpark Children's Centre, said they are over-the-moon and praised Gillian McDonald, an early years education and childcare officer at the centre, for leading the project.

She said: "We are really proud. This project is one of the most special things that we do.

"It has impacted positively on the children and older people's wellbeing."

Bella Kerr, from Generations Working Together, says they have been wowed by the project.

She added: "I think it's fantastic."

Parent Bernadette McKinnon, whose four-year-old son Tyler attends the nursery, also backed the initiative.

"Tyler comes home and enjoys telling me all about it. It's a great idea to bring different generations together."

Pensioners' John Sellar, 81, and Betty Montgomerie, 84, who attend Hillend, say spending time with the tots brings them so much joy.

John said: "I enjoy watching all their carry on - it cheers you up.

"It reminds me of what I used to be and what I used to do as a child."

Betty said: "I was a children's nurse so I enjoy spending time with them."

William Malcolm, a driver with Inverclyde Council who transports the pensioners to the nursery, says the project is a winner.

He added: "It's an extra special things and it's great to see that everyone getting an award for it."