GREEN-FINGERED teens have been renovating a Tyneside care home’s garden as part of a social action project with the Newcastle United Foundation.
The group of 15-to-17-year-olds on the Foundation’s National Citizenship Service (NCS) spent several days at Waverley Lodge Care Home, on Bewick Crescent, Lemington, Newcastle.
The first of two waves of NCS participants ran activity sessions with the home’s elderly residents, including games, balloon tennis, and bingo. They also spent time chatting, sharing their life stories and experiences.
Robert Sheldon, 76, spoke about his job as a glass blower and his love of The Magpies. He said: “What a canny group of bairns. It was great talking about my work.”
The second group worked with residents to revamp the garden, including pruning the bushes, weeding the flower beds and paving, and planting new flowers.
Katherine Harle, 73, showed the teenagers how to cut back different types of plants and helped prune the bushes. She said: “They’re good little workers, and so kind and polite. I love gardening and it was so nice to be outside with the young ‘uns. They did a great job. Everything looks so nice and tidy now.”
Fellow resident Jillian Gallagher, 59, also joined in, helping to plant new flowers and talking to the young people.
At the end of their time at the care home, the students presented care packages to the staff, in honour of the work they did during the Covid-19 pandemic. They included tissues, hand sanitiser, chocolate bars, tea bags, and coffee sachets.
Amanda Cavanagh, home manager at Waverley Lodge Care Home, said: “It was such a pleasure to have the groups of teenagers in the home.
“They were all so interested in finding out about the residents and what they had done in their lives. It was inspiring to see how engaged this group of young people were with residents.
“They also did a great job revamping our front garden. The new plants they put in are looking just lovely. Everyone at Waverley Lodge wants to say a huge thank you to NUFC Foundation NCS for their wonderful work.”
Jordan Wragg, NCS coordinator for the Newcastle United Foundation, said: “The team had a fantastic time working with Waverly Lodge Care Home.
“They gained real insight into the hard work put into care homes, alongside starting conversations, interacting with others, and discovering some long-lasting impactful messages from those who’ve had a lifetime of experiences.
“The young adults left the care home feeling inspired and empowered by the work they did and, most importantly, through the conversations they had and the residents they met.
“Hopefully this experience working with Waverley Lodge Care Home inspires our young adults to continue being ambitious, sharing success and achieving their goals.”