Jan 26, 2018
To help build links and create new relationships with the local community, The Potteries care on has opened its doors to welcome local sixth-formers, with help from YOPEY, the Young People of the Year charity.
Charity founder Tony Gearing MBE recruited 50 sixth-formers from Parkstone and Poole grammars, and Corfe Hills School to become ‘YOPEY Befrienders’.
Tony said: “The aim is for the young people to visit the care home for an hour a week. They are there to add to the residents’ lives, but in truth it is a two-way street. The young people often learn lots from the older generation.”
Residents at The Potteries look forward to the regular visits, and have a wonderful time catching up with the students and chatting over tea and cake. While at the home, the students have also taken part in a number of reminiscence activities with residents. Conversations about the residents’ younger years is often a popular topic.
Zita Turner, home manager at The Potteries, commented: “The scheme has become a real favourite with residents here at The Potteries, which has allowed us to get even more schools involved to make this a regular part of our activities calendar each week.
“We’d like to thank the pupils from Parkstone Grammar, Corfe Hills and Poole Grammar for continuing to put a smile on the residents’ faces. All the residents have enjoyed interacting with the young, energetic students, and the scheme has had a real benefit for those living with dementia who become more engaged and eager to interact.
“In the month that the scheme has been running, we’ve already seen new friendships being built, and it’s lovely to see that the students look forward to coming in to catch up with residents. It has been a brilliant opportunity to bring different generations together, and for the residents to share their wealth of knowledge and life experience.”
Dan Stickney, Head of Year 12 at Poole Grammar, added: “Poole Grammar School is proud to be part of YOPEY Befriender. These visits give our young people a chance to see the world through the eyes of the less young, making important connections across the generations that otherwise would not be possible. YOPEY Befriender is a real case of a win-win.”.
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