Students from Barrhead have teamed up with residents at a local care home to share and learn together as part of an innovative school initiative.
Pupils, aged from 15 to 18 years old, from Barrhead High School in Glasgow volunteer their free periods on Wednesdays and Fridays to visit Bupa’s Millview Care Home to engage in a range of activities with the residents.
The project aims to encourage young and old generations to come together, get to know more about each other and teach each other new things. So far, this has included games of dominos, baking, the students learning all about history first hand and having sing-a-longs of hymns and old, classic songs.
The initiative came about when one student, who has a grandparent living in the home, suggested it to their classmates during a conversation about working within the community. It has since successfully taken off, with both the care home residents and pupils greatly benefitting from the programme and looking forward to the biweekly trips.
Raymond Weir, student support teacher at Barrhead High School, said: “The pupils were admittedly a little nervous at first, as they weren’t sure how easily they would get along with the residents, but they hit it off straight away
“It’s been a real eye-opener as many of the students have elderly relatives but were unaware of the number of local elderly people living at Millview.
“The residents also love seeing fresh faces and engaging with the students. One particular highlight is the sing-a-longs, as they love to join in with the familiar memories and it’s like they’ve been transported back in time.
“You could also see the students light up and it has many of them now thinking about life after school and in particular pursuing careers working with the elderly. It’s been a really positive experience and we’re now looking at ways to include as many of our students as possible.”
Jennifer Campbell, home manager at Bupa’s Millview Care Home, said: “The involvement of students from Barrhead is proving to be very beneficial to our residents as it encourages them to socially interact with those in the local area.
“Spending time with the pupils gives the residents such a boost as they love interacting with them and hearing about what life is like for kids growing up these days.
“It’s wonderful to see everyone involved getting along so well together.”