Pupils bring summer cheer to care home friends
PUBLISHED: 10:36 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:04 29 July 2020
Primary school pupils have continued to bring smiles to the faces of care home residents during lockdown.
Pakefield Primary School has brought some summer cheer to friends at care homes locally by sending in letters, pictures and jokes.
The Year 2 youngsters had been visiting residents at Stradbroke Court and Kirkley Manor care homes in Lowestoft each month since the start of the school year as they built strong relationships with residents.
But amid the continuing coronavirus crisis, and lockdown, the visits were put on hold.
While the pupils hope to be able to visit the care homes in the new school year, they have kept in touch with their friends by regularly writing letters about what they have been doing to keep the residents’ spirits up.
Helen Phillips, a Year 2 teacher at Pakefield Primary School – part of the The Active Learning Trust – said: “The children get so much from working with the residents.
“They have really got to know each other over the year and learned a lot as well as having a laugh together.
“They were really keen to stay in touch during lockdown, especially because many of them have formed friendships with individual residents.
“So far they have written twice and we’re already planning the next letters and hoping we can visit in person in the new school year.”
Fellow Year 2 teacher Aileen Bale added: “Visiting and writing to each other has fostered mutual respect between the children and the residents.
“Some of the students were a bit nervous before their first visit but then they didn’t want to leave.
“They are desperate to be able to visit again.”
Joy Russell, activities co-ordinator at Kirkley Manor, said: “The letters and emails have really made a difference to our residents, many of whom haven’t been able to see their own families during lockdown.
“Knowing that the children are thinking of them brings a smile to their faces.”
Sarah Voss, activities co-ordinator at Stradbroke Court care home, said: “The children are always so well behaved and have developed some amazing friendships with our residents.
“Residents talk about the children for several days after they visit, and always want to know when they are coming back.”
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