bringing out the best in boys

Teen Mates

Posted at 11:27 am on 21st November, 2019

Students Visit Local Care Home Residents

Wellacre, and local care home, De Brook Lodge, have partnered on a special community project, Teen Mates.  

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Teen Mates has linked the neighbouring school and care home to provide an opportunity for Wellacre students to make a difference in their local community and to help improve the day-to-day lives of the residents by making weekly social visits.

Mr Pemberton, Vice Principal, Welfare and Wellbeing, said:

“Teen Mates is an excellent citizenship opportunity for Wellacre students, which has seen both students and De Brook Lodge residents thrive.  Our young volunteers have excelled in the weekly visits and really enjoyed the social interaction with the elder community members.” 

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The Teen Mates scheme is a citizenship option as part of Wellacre’s co-curricular weekly programme.  Each Wednesday, the school day is extended to 4.00pm and students spend an hour participating in a new activity from boxing, CCF Navy unit, Japanese language, and debating to name a few.  Each co-curricular activity aims to enhance the learning opportunities for students and they opt termly, providing scope to experience different sessions. 

In preparation for Teen Mates, we welcomed Mark Harrison, dementia specialist, and Danielle Aikenhead, from De Brook Lodge, to promote the co-curricular project and to raise awareness of issues faced by the elderly affecting their memory, mental agility and mobility.

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Teen Mates volunteer Frankie, Year 10, said:

“I chose Teen Mates as an option because it seemed like it would be a fun opportunity to visit De Brook Lodge residents.  We play games and talk to them about their childhoods to everything they have done in their lives. They seem to be really happy to see us every week!”

Fellow Year 10 student, Sam, added:

“I thought it would be interesting to work with De Brook Lodge and spend time with the  residents there. We sit, chat and play games and they enjoy our visits.”

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Wellacre students will undertake Dementia Friends training in December, which will be delivered by an Ideal Carehomes internal trainer. The training will help to raise awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want, with the support of the community.  Each student completing the training will receive a Dementia Friend badge and certificate.

De Brook Lodge Care Home has been working in partnership with Wellacre students as part of several community projects.  In June, students were invited to celebrate arts in care, alongside Mayor Rob Chilton, as part of the National Care Home Open Day and in July Young Enterprise students treated residents to a donation of some of their handcrafted pom pom puppies and were warmly welcomed by delighted residents.

In the Summer, the care home was crowned the North West winner of Ideal Carehome’s annual ‘Gardens in Bloom’ competition; Wellacre boys supported this by nurturing flowers and plants in the school’s Eco Centre, which were donated and used in the winning design.  

Val Shaughnessy, Home Manager at De Brook Lodge, said:

“We all look forward to the visits from the students of Wellacre – Teen Mates is a wonderful project that really does make a difference for the community.  Our residents have plenty of stories to tell and they enjoy hearing about the students’ lives. There are some lovely friendships being made and we hope that the scheme could be nurturing some carers or Home Managers of the future!”

Mr Pemberton, said:

“Wellacre is proud of the community link made with De Brook Care Home, and the role students play in boosting the wellbeing of residents.  We’d like to thank De Brook Lodge for encouraging students to make a difference in the wider community through the Teen Mates project.”