Residents from Cavell Court care home in Cringleford visited pupils at Cringleford CE VA Primary School for a creative session to teach the youngsters what it is like to live with dementia.
The chairman of Cringleford Parish Council, Malcom Wagstaff, also joined in the lesson which is part of The Archie Project, a regional initiative, set-up by the charity Reminiscence Learning. The inter-generational dementia awareness project links schools and care homes together with the aim of teaching pupils about dementia from a young age.
As part of the session, pupils were introduced to ‘Archie’, a scarecrow character who is living with dementia. The character has been designed to help pupils understand how the condition can affect older people.
The interactive lesson focused around pupils and the residents of Cavell Court working together to create their own ‘Archie’ characters, which have now been a given a home in the school’s garden.
The pupils also took time throughout the afternoon to serve the residents with refreshments and ask them questions about what life had been like when they were at school, as well as their hobbies and interests.
Samantha Woods, customer relations manager at Cavell Court, said: “The pupils and residents had a wonderful time getting to know each other and sharing stories while creating their own versions of Archie. We believe it is important to learn about dementia from a young age and hope that this project will raise awareness of the condition for pupils, as well as their parents, teachers and the local community.
“We look forward to working with pupils at Cringleford Primary School on future projects and hope to build on the friendships which have been forged.”
Chairman of Cringleford Parish Council, Malcom Wagstaff, said: “The Archie Project is a brilliant initiative and I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the lesson and seeing first-hand how engaged and interested the pupils were. Helping younger generations to learn about dementia in a creative way is so important and I hope this project will help to make Cringleford more dementia-friendly.”
Following the residents visit to the school, the pupils wrote letters to say thank you for their visit and also compiled written accounts of the resident’s memories of school life.