Pupils in 8K walked to The Spinney care home for their annual summer community project. Many of the residents have dementia, and during their initial talk by Lifestyle Co-ordinator Michelle, Alexa reminded everyone that people with the condition suffer memory loss and cannot always remember their family. Hamza also shared with everyone the knowledge that his great uncle has dementia and is currently being cared for at home, but goes to hospital for regular treatment at weekends.
Hamza later told Gwen, one of the residents, that he hopes to be either a brain surgeon or a pharmacist! All our pupils chatted naturally with the residents, quite often discovering fascinating details about their former lives. On the top floor, for example, pupils met 95 year old Norman who commanded an aircraft carrier during World War II. Sitting nearby was former opera singer Angela, and Patricia told the class how she used to go to school in a rickshaw since she grew up in India under the British Raj. She then came back to Britain at the start of World War II and served in the Wrens
Year 8 also chatted to the residents about their holidays and school work. Paarth, for example told Italian resident Eufemia that he had visited Pisa in Italy and seen the famous leaning tower when he was eleven. He told 97 year old Doris that his favourite subjects were Maths and Science. Paige and Hamza also told Doris about their sporting successes and the recent Gifted and Talented trip to Westminster Abbey.
Dennis, who was a manager in Hackney for 40 years, and former secretary Doreen also chatted happily to our pupils. Jackie, another resident who has been at The Spinney for four years, expressed a keen interest in Alexa’s badges. Alexa explained how they represented the choir, her work on the charity committee and her House badge.
Although our pupils started off rather shy, it took no time for them to mingle naturally with the residents and it is a visit they hope to repeat next year.