Sep 02, 2014
The Barnard Castle project, called Memories of Teesdale, focuses on sharing true stories about older people’s early lives, and ten children from Forest in Teesdale Primary School visited residents to interview them and collect stories to create an online memory bank.
The children and residents worked closely with project leader and director of Lifetime Memories, Jude Irwin and Kings Court Activities Co-ordinator Jean Tuttle, who encouraged the children to ask questions, thus stimulating conversation. There was a buzz in the air and the hum of voices as residents recounted their stories and asked the children about themselves. The children looked fascinated as they listened and wrote down what they were told.
There was plenty of laughter too, with one former theatrical lady being a particular hit as she kept bursting into song and making funny faces. Many of the children were amazed to meet a lady who was 101 years old. She told them she had been born the year before the First World War started, which they had been studying at school.
Ms Irwin said: “We know older people often have very powerful memories from their distant past and these memories are priceless and can be immensely stimulating and rewarding for anyone, especially those with dementia.
“Working with the residents at Kings Court we found that just talking about the past brought so many wonderful memories to mind.
“The residents were delighted with the interest the pupils showed, and proud of the information they’d been able to share.”
Forest in Teesdale head teacher, Ian Carroll said: “The community element is absolutely huge, and the children have made it very clear they want to continue the relationship with the care home.
The children have asked to go back to the care home to sing war time songs to the residents.
Market Place, 14 Market Place, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8ND
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