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Spalding school and nursing home forge new friendship

St Paul's pupils Lucas, Charlie and Diana with St John's resident Peggy Compton and head teacher Kira Nicholls. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG170418-120TW
St Paul's pupils Lucas, Charlie and Diana with St John's resident Peggy Compton and head teacher Kira Nicholls. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG170418-120TW

Residents St John’s Care Home and pupils from St Paul’s Community Primary School had their first meeting this week ... and worked together making garlands for May Day celebrations.

It was the start of what is expected to be a beautiful friendship between the Spalding school and the home, with children and residents benefiting from cross generational friendships.

For some residents its was 75 or more years since they had been in a school but they were soon working alongside the youngsters or watching children dance around a Maypole as music played in the background.

Crystal Chone (11) was seated alongside Lilian Brown (93) as they worked.

Lilian told us “I love children” and described the school as “a marvellous place” while Crystal was happily chatting to her elders, and told us: “It’s kind of cool in a way.”

Head teacher Kira Nicholls initiated the step after hearing on the news about another school that had been working with the elderly, wrote to several homes about a possible link and St John’s said “yes”.

Mrs Nicholls said: “When I thought about the grandparents of our pupils at St Paul’s, I realised that many have grandparents who are younger than the typical age when I was a child.

“I also remember the amazing relationship I had with my grandparents and the stories they would share about their lives when they were young and being fascinated by them. I also know first-hand the unique encounters we as adults can have with young children and could really see how this could benefit the elderly, especially those who have more limited experiences due to the care they require.”

Ida Brickles, activities coordinator at St John’s, accompanied the five residents on Tuesday’s trip to St Paul’s.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “You can see everyone’s joining in. When we have children come in (to the home), even grandchildren, it changes the whole atmosphere in the home because the residents just love children – they laugh with them, they become happier and they communicate with them quite well. This is our first visit here to day. Hopefully it will be a long term thing and it will be really nice.”

More activities are planned and these could include a visit by St Paul’s choir to the nursing home.

• Share your good news with our editor: jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk

Previously ...

Spalding St Paul’s pupils sing and sign to help deaf charity

Spalding primary school pupils launch their own business

Spalding primary school creates new outdoor classroom


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