Students and care home residents in Spalding build friendships through YOPEY Dementia Befriender scheme

Care and nursing homes in the Country Court group have welcomed young people into their homes throughout this academic year as part of the YOPEY Dementia Befriender initiative. This important intergenerational work is coordinated by Tony Gearing MBE of the charity YOPEY which builds relationships between care home operators and secondary schools. Established in 2012, YOPEY gives young people the opportunity to contribute to their communities through volunteering to provide company to elderly people living in care homes.

At St John’s Care Home in Spalding residents enjoyed meeting sixth-form students from Spalding Grammar School

Building meaningful relationships with residents 

“Over the months, the students have built up meaningful relationships with our residents, many of whom are living with dementia. We can see the students' visits have a positive impact on people's moods and overall wellbeing. In addition, they are a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain first-hand experience of dementia and learn about life in a care home. We hope the experience will inspire some to pursue a career in the care sector.” Explained Natalie Parnham, Home Manager at St John’s Care Home.

Tony Gearing said: “YOPEY loves giving young people the opportunity to both enrich the lives of care home residents but also to learn wisdom from their elders. Following our training, sixth-formers from Spalding Grammar are doing a great job at St John’s, a lovely care home.”

After their visits to the residents 

After her visit student Milena commented “I met a new resident named Peter who was part of the army and the navy…. Peter talked about his time there and we talked about history (the world wars mainly). He mentioned the countries he served in and what the borders between countries looked like. We also talked about which books we liked, and he read us some poems (from memory). He told us that he came from Ireland and talked about his family.”

Student Oliwia reported, “I met a resident called Dave who gave me some encouragement, and good life advice. This was a very enjoyable conversation.”

Student Jack said, “The residents were very friendly and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. This was nice because it made me feel welcomed and that they appreciated my time there.”

“Here at St John’s Care Home, we have first-hand experience of how challenging life can be for families who have a loved one living with dementia. We know our residents benefit from being in such a supportive community here in Spalding, where we can take advantage of initiatives such as the YOPEY Dementia Befriender Community Partnership.” Commented Natalie Parnham, Home Manager at St John’s Care Home.

Contact Us 

For more information about life at St John’s Care Home please contact stjohns@countrycourtcare.com or call 01775 710567.

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