Schoolchildren who would normally be regular visitors to Belong care villages in Atherton and Wigan are finding creative ways to bring Christmas cheer to residents.
Students at Chowbent Primary School in Atherton performed a nativity play that was live-streamed for audiences at both care villages. Belong Wigan residents have also enjoyed a carol concert performed by children at St. Benedict’s Primary School in Wigan via Zoom.
These events are a continuation of partnerships with local community organisations to maintain a connection with the community throughout the year, which has seen Forza Dance Studios, in Bolton, perform weekly dance routines and St. Richard’s Primary School recite poems for National Poetry Day.
Students have also found creative ways of getting Christmas messages to the care villages, with Rowan Tree Primary School sending heart-shaped Christmas tree decorations bearing season’s greetings to Belong Atherton. Children from Hawkley Hall High School also made Christmas cards for each of the residents of Belong Wigan.
Michael Hull, a resident of Beech household, Belong Wigan, who watched St Benedict’s carol service said: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching the children from the school. I cannot wait to see more performances, and hopefully we will see them all again soon when we can.”
Commenting on the partnerships that have made these initiatives possible, Tanya Guy, experience coordinator at Belong Wigan also commented: “Intergenerational activities form an important part of our activities programme. While rapid COVID-19 testing for visitors means that residents can safely see their see loved ones, visits from external activity providers and local organisations can’t take place. Technology has enabled residents, including grandparents who wouldn’t normally be able to attend performances at schools, to enjoy some of the traditional features of the festive season and get into the Christmas spirit. I’d like to thank the local schools for the impact that they’ve had this year.”