School visits delight care home residents

Inspirational project helps generations build bonds

Students with resident of care home

A special project involving school children and residents of a care home has brought two very different parts of a local community together.

The project in Burbage was created by the Burbage Local Area Coordinator, Rachel Ball, in partnership with Hastings High School and Moat House Care Home. Leicestershire County Council’s Local Area Coordinators work with residents, as well as support and strengthen local communities.

Working with staff at Moat House, eight care home residents and two local residents were chosen to be part of the new trial project. Some of those taking part have low-level dementia, with family members of those chosen invited to attend.

After signing up in their droves, 20 students were selected by Hastings High School and all received training from local organisation Musical Memory Box before the project began.

The six-week scheme started in April and took place every Tuesday afternoon. Students work in pairs with one resident for the whole project to build a strong, lasting relationship and care home staff have been delighted with the positive impact students have had on the care home residents.

Residents and students also worked on their ‘playlist for life,’ a nationwide project which helps create a meaningful music playlist to help people living with dementia. The end of the project saw students build strong bonds with residents, helping them create and complete a music playlist and a ‘life library’ story of their life.

Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet member for public health, said: “This has been a wonderful project bringing together parts of the local community who wouldn’t usually meet each other.

“The opportunity to learn, laugh and enjoy each other’s company has benefitted both the care home residents and students. I’m so glad this trial, led by our brilliant Local Area Coordinators, has been such a success and I very much hope we can work with schools and care homes to ensure this can work well more widely across Leicestershire.”

Charlotte Mantle from Adept Care Homes, said: “The project has been a welcome addition to the varied lifestyle and wellbeing program at Moat House, we are always keen to encourage intergenerational projects and it has been thoroughly enjoyed by the residents. It’s a great idea and we hope this will be the beginning of a lasting relationship with Hastings High School.”

Keira, a student taking part at Hastings High School, said: “It’s really nice to hear about all of the things they’ve done and nice to know that they (the residents) have more friends. Being in a home can get quite lonely and now they have more friends that they can talk to.”

Local Area Coordinator Rachel will now work with the care home, school and participants to assess the trial scheme to explore opportunities for the programme to continue in Burbage and other areas of Leicestershire.

More information about Local Area Coordinators, including how to get in touch can be found on the dedicated webpage. Local Facebook groups are also set up.

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