In February Year 10 were visited by Tony Gearing MBE who runs the Young Person of the Year charity (YOPEY).
During our assembly he highlighted the issue of dementia and that many sufferers can be quite isolated and lonely even though they live in residential care. One solution that he champions is that young people volunteer to go in the home to chat to the residence to encourage them to talk about their experiences and make dementia more bearable to live with.
The presentation was discussed in year 10 form time and we had ten students who then wished to be put forward for further training to become a Yopey Befriender. The training involved a morning of discussing dementia, it’s symptoms and management and then in the afternoon visiting Clovelly House in March; an establishment which specialises in caring for dementia patients. At first the year 10 were apprehensive but by the end all of them were chatting away to the elderly men and women living there.
From this initial training the befrienders then visit their new acquaintances regularly and then write up a brief report of how their conversations went. Some students have also taken it on themselves to visit another home (Springfield House) which shows not just their caring side but also that they can take the initiative to do something they think is both worthwhile and rewarding.
Reading through some of these reports it is quite clear that the older people get a huge amount from the visits. Many of them talk about their own school days, memories of the War, current family, passed away loved ones and their passions in life. It is also clear that the students find the trips meaningful and they get a lot from the experience.
From my point of view as progress leader it is wonderful to read these reports showing the caring, conscientious side of young people and their empathy they develop with people in some cases 80 years old.
Well done Year 10 I am very proud of you!