A SOCIAL media sensation occupied elderly care home residents and teenage volunteers as part of a social action project in Blyth.
Northumberland Rocks, as the activity is known, involves Northumbrians painting stones and pebbles and hiding them in the county’s famous beauty spots.
The free activity has taken Facebook by storm, with a dedicated group attracting almost 8,000 members, as it encourages participants to be creative, get outside and explore the countryside in an attempt to find others’ decorated stones.
They have appeared all over the county during the summer, with those who discover the stones taking a photo and posting their success on the social network.
Residents at The Oaks Care Home are the latest to take part, alongside young volunteers from charity Catch 22’s National Citizenship Service (NCS).
More than a dozen 15 to 17 year olds spent two days at the home running arts and crafts sessions, which involved decorating the stones for others to discover.
They also held pamper sessions and a coffee morning for residents and their relatives, serving cakes, biscuits, tea and coffee.
The volunteers also spent the time learning about dementia, its affects and how to care for those living with the condition.
Paige Gallagher, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, said: “It was great the students chose The Oaks for their social action project.
“The residents thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them.
“Initially, the students thought they understood what dementia was, but it was a revelation for them to see how quickly things like memory loss can take hold.
“This made them more determined to make a lasting impact on the residents’ lives.”
Ann Mielnik, home manager, added: “Communication between different generations is so important.
“Elderly people have a wealth of knowledge and humour to impart and it’s great to see young people taking the time to interact, learn and enjoy the company of the residents.”
Jack Davis is the group leader for the NCS at Catch 22, a not-for-profit social business delivering social care and education, among other public services across the UK.
He said: “The group had a great time and found it very rewarding. Many of the students want to go back to The Oaks to visit the residents again.”