Funding appeal for project to enable pupils to help dementia patients

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 October 2019

Sandford Primary School children visit the care home regularly.

Sandford Primary School children visit the care home regularly.

Archant

A woman has set up a crowdfunding appeal to raise £80,000 for a project which is helping to improve the quality of life for people with dementia.

Children from Sandford Primary School have been visiting Winscombe Hall Care Centre for the past two years to spend time with the residents.

Their visits have had such a profound affect on both that Tracey Shears is raising funds to allow the project to expand to other care homes and schools.

Tracey, who led the project, said: "We have been visiting our local care home with amazing improvements to their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing over the past two years but due to lack of funding I will be losing my role at Sandford Primary School next month.

"This will have a massive impact on the residents we visit on a regular basis.

Children from Sandford Primary School regularly visit the care home to spend time with residents.Children from Sandford Primary School regularly visit the care home to spend time with residents.

"The children will have a void in their regular happy routine of interacting with their friends at Sandford Station.

"It's had such a positive impact for everyone involved."

Tracey set up the project after she was inspired by the Channel 4 show Old People's Home For 4 Year Olds which aired in July 2017.

The visits have had a positive impact on the pupils and residents.The visits have had a positive impact on the pupils and residents.

More: Sandford pupils enjoy weekly care home visit.

Children visit the home, in Winscombe Hill, to enjoy crafts together, perform songs and spend time chatting and playing with the residents.

Annie Cowell, from Winscombe Hall Care Centre, said: "From our perspective, visits from children bring absolute joy and happiness to our residents - and I think that is evident.

Children enjoy arts and crafts and sing songs with the residents.Children enjoy arts and crafts and sing songs with the residents.

"We are so fortunate here to have a beautiful garden and grounds the children can enjoy - the residents are enchanted by the children playing tag with each other, rolling down the banks and picking flowers to present to them - all the things they did when they were children themselves.

"We have found the residents love the children's naturally inquisitive, inquiring and creative minds.

"The children will chop and change from singing songs as they take part in the art and craft sessions, to asking about our residents' first pet, their parents, what the war was like, or what job they did.

"The children fully engage on a level that adults often can't - it is unique and heart-warming."

Tracey, who now works at Hans Price Academy as the deputy college leader, wants to raise £80,000 so she can continue the visits and help schools and care homes.

She said: "I'm so passionate about the project continuing so we can improve the lives of older adults living with dementia.

"This disease is not so globally highlighted in the way many other are especially cancer, but when dementia strikes it effects whole communities and devistates families and their loved ones."

Tracey is looking for a company willing to hire out a seven-seater vehicle to transport pupils to care homes.

Anyone who can help, can email Tracey at shearstracey@aol.com

Donate to the appeal at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tracey-shears

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