A Northamptonshire care home is leading the way in bridging the generational gap by opening its doors to local young people.
Abbott House has welcomed pupils from Oundle School, who have been volunteering at the home by helping staff at meal times, playing board games with residents and providing entertainment using their own musical instruments. Three pupils have also been painting murals on the bathroom walls, while others have given talks on their varied backgrounds, sharing experiences with residents. The volunteering doubles up for some pupils as a contribution towards the service element of their silver or gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.
The home is managed by Julie Chinnick, who was recently recognised in Shaw’s UK-wide ‘Star Awards’ programme. Julie beat off competition from several other Shaw healthcare facilities across the UK and received the ‘exceptional leader’ award for 2017.
Commenting, Ms Chinnick said: “Staff and residents are always really pleased to welcome the pupils into the home. It’s been wonderful to watch relationships develop between them and our residents over the course of their DofE work, sharing youth and experience in equal measure. Some of the pupils have built up such a good rapport with our residents that they intend to continue to visit us after their studies.
“The home is a great place to work and our volunteers add to the feel-good atmosphere here. They have been a marvellous addition to the Shaw family at Abbott House and we look forward to continuing to work with more Oundle pupils in the future.”
Liz Turnbull, head of community action at Oundle School, commented: “Our pupils undoubtedly enjoy their visits to Abbott House and benefit from the wonderful relationships they develop with the residents. It is a mutually beneficial partnership and we will continue to look at ways to develop it further.”