STUDENTS from Middlesbrough College have been spending time with elderly care home residents as part of a learning initiative.
The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, Middlesbrough, has been hosting a group of 17 to 18 year olds for several weeks.
The students have been studying an Introduction to Health and Social Care at the College, alongside GCSE English and Maths, and wanted to get experience of working in a care home.
So far they have made bird feeders with the residents, memory boxes and gift cards, played bingo and gave hand massage therapy for those who are nursed in bed.
They have also been engaging in conversation about family, friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
For World Book Day the students brought in a selection of different novels, including thrillers, historical romances and Roald Dahl classics, which they read to residents.
Demmi-Lea Purdie, one of the students at Middlesbrough College, said: “I’m a carer for both my mum and nanna. I hope to be a nurse one day.”
Fellow student KC-Mai Christian said: “We feel like we’re making a difference to the residents’ lives.
“They are so interesting to talk to and spend time with. We were talking about going winkle-picking the other day. They make me laugh too and I always feel better after spending time at the home.”
Elsie Mitford, a resident at The Gables Care Home, said: “I was overjoyed when the students left me the book Pollyanna, which they had been reading to me, as I remember reading it when I was younger.”
Ruth McLaughlin, progression studies lecturer at Middlesbrough College, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the students. They are learning how to apply their classroom theory with real life experiences, which will prepare them to work in care settings.
“It’s great to see how the young people bond with the residents at The Gables and where seemingly simple activities such as hand massage can have such a mutually beneficial impact on both the young person and the elderly resident.”
Pam Rodgers, home manager at The Gables Care Home, said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to Middlesbrough College and the Health and Social Care students.
“We were delighted to have them at the home and the residents have thoroughly enjoyed their company and joint activities.
“Bringing young people into the home instils so much energy and this is hugely beneficial for our residents, while the students gain invaluable experience seeing how a care home works and supporting certain elements of care, such as activities.
“We look forward to continued work with Middlesbrough College.”