Friendships prove there’s no generation gap at March care home
PUBLISHED: 16:52 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:53 19 February 2020
Youngsters have given around 100 hours of their time to residents with dementia at a March care home.
Sixth-formers from Neale Wade Academy trained as 'YOPEY befrienders' to visit the elderly at Springfield Care Home in The Causeway.
Six students have visited more than 80 times in the past two months and three returned to have photos taken with their new friends.
Harvey Brown, 16, said: "I enjoyed having pictures with Margaret because I talk to her a lot and she was very happy to be photographed.
"We play a 'name game' where we go through the alphabet and think of a boy or girl's name for every letter - each of which triggers a memory for Margaret.
"I also talk to Douglas who is 96. He speaks about his late wife but exclaims that she isn't in heaven because there is no such thing as god.
"He says we live on a dying world and he is leaving at the right time before it can get any worse. However, he enjoys himself a lot and is very bright spirited."
Head of Sixth Form Dr Carole Spibey, said: "Our students have really embraced the opportunity to visit the residents of Springfield care home.
"They have learned so much from them about their lives and have felt extremely rewarded by being able to talk and listen and to provide the residents with some company.
"It has been a very uplifting experience for them.
"It is very clear by what the students tell us and from the faces in the pictures that both generations are benefitting from the YOPEY Befriender scheme."
Tony Gearing MBE, the founder of the charity YOPEY, which stands for Young People of the Year, explained that March was the latest town to have a YOPEY Dementia Befriender scheme.
"I hope this one will grow in popularity with the students and more will give a little of thier time to the care home residents, some of whom do not get any visitors and are lonely," he said.