Natural next step to encourage artistic pupils and care home residents to get together

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Wales High School, in Kiveton Park, Sheffield, has been creating amazing art projects with residents of a nearby care home, Ladyfield House.

Inspired by the success of the school’s reading group at Ladyfield House, Gemma Gladwin, Teacher of Art at Wales High School, accompanied by pupils, aged twelve to eighteen, and a bundle of arts and crafts materials, began working with residents on various art projects.

Projects included paintings inspired by autumnal themes and Bonfire Night; creating cards for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day; Easter Bonnets; and a large tree, designed by Julie Burdett, the activities coordinator at Ladyfield House. Julie and the residents have painted the tree and decorated it with a collection of hand crafted and painted butterflies.

Gemma said, “Luke Pendlebury, teacher of PE and Boys Achievement Leader at Wales High School, enjoyed such great success with the reading project at Ladyfield House that it was a natural next step to encourage our artistic pupils and residents to get together and enjoy celebrating the seasons of the year and special occasions.”

Activities coordinator, Julie said: “It has been great fun for both the pupils and our residents and I strongly believe in the benefits of art for our residents with dementia.”

James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society recognises the value of art and culture, having previously said: “Art and culture holds a unique place in our lives. Whether it’s singing, poetry, museums or dance, they enrich our lives and bring pleasure to everybody at some point.”

Doris Ansell, a resident at Ladyfield house, said: “I used to do this kind of thing before I came to live here, so it’s really nice to carry on doing arts and crafts. I love it when the children visit.”

Julie added: “At Ladyfield House, we really value the local community and we’re always pleased to welcome volunteers and visitors.”

An exhibition of the art work took place on Friday 28th June at Ladyfield House, Residential and EMI Residential Care Home, Peckmill View, Kiveton Park, Sheffield S26 6UY and was attended by The Head of Wales High School and members of the governing team.

More info about arts and dementia here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/research/care-and-cure-research-magazine/arts-can-help-people-living-dementia

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