Students surprise care home residents as part of community project

nicole and violet

Nicole and Violet, 92, with a jigsaw. - Credit: Wellbeing Care

A group of students from a Lowestoft college have surprised local care home residents with handmade jigsaws designed to evoke happy memories among residents.

The students, from East Coast College, came up with the idea as part of an ongoing community action project designed to spread cheer during the pandemic.

Having previously taken part in work experience at The Dell care home in Lowestoft where they enjoyed bonding with the residents, the students chose to create the jigsaws as a way of keeping in contact and showing residents how much they are appreciated.


Bea aged 97 holding one of the jigsaws. - Credit: Wellbeing Care

Discussing the project, Carrie Doddington, a tutor at East Coast College, said: “The last 12 months have been difficult for everybody, but especially so for care home residents who have been unable to see their family for long periods.

"Our students wanted to do whatever they could to spread smiles and initially came up with a postcard project, which saw them send kindness postcards to people living at The Dell.

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"It was a huge success and inspired them to help further, deciding to create jigsaw puzzles for residents to enjoy next”.

The colourful jigsaw puzzles, designed to evoke emotions and memories, were created using images of heritage cars, seminal moments in sport and iconic singers such as Elton John.

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Other puzzles revealed messages of kindness and flower bouquets, which students hoped would make residents smile.


Some of the images on the jigsaws. - Credit: Ann Reid

“Our students wanted to create jigsaw puzzles for the residents because they provide endless amounts of fun whilst also having a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

"As well as improving short-term memory, concentration and problem-solving ability, jigsaw puzzles are also great for reducing stress and improving mood.

"We hope The Dell's residents will enjoy solving the jigsaw puzzles as much as our students enjoyed creating them,” Carrie concluded.

eleanor beare

Eleanor Beare, one of the students who made the memory jigsaws. - Credit: Wellbeing Care

Expressing her gratitude, Daniella Penedo, assistant manager of activities and training for wellbeing care, said: “The staff and students at East Coast College have been so kind and considerate to our residents throughout lockdown, always coming up with thoughtful ways to make them smile.

"The kindness postcards and jigsaw puzzles have spread endless amounts of joy and made our residents feel very special.

"We are so grateful to the college for their continued efforts and support.”

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