Westhill Park welcomed 14 volunteers, all taking part in the National Citizenship Service (NCS). This is a voluntary personal and social development programme designed for 15-17-year olds to feel challenged, engaged and empowered, by learning new skills and increasing their confidence. The volunteers chose to do a project around ‘the lost generation’ for the social action part of their course. They felt that often the elderly in the community were sometimes forgotten or overlooked, but still had so much to contribute to society.
Allison Purkiss, Westhill Park’s Home Admission Advisor, held an informative ‘Dementia Friends’ information session for the students before they visited our home. The two days were filled with lots of laughter, fun and enjoyment, with our residents and the volunteers chatting over cake and coffee at the weekly coffee morning, taking part in competitive games of carpet bowls and bingo and one student even learning some knitting techniques from our lovely resident Vera! It has been a positive experience for our residents, getting to socially interact with the volunteers and reminisce about old times, which benefits both the mind and soul. Sarah Russell, Team Leader for the NCS said, ‘Team members have all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, particularly as some of them hadn’t really spoken with elderly people before. They have been really excited to be involved with the community, and a number of them intend continuing the friendships they have made at Westhill Park.’