Students from Chesterton Community College in Cambridge are making weekly visits to CHS Group residents at Langdon House residential care home, as part of the Young People of the Year (YOPEY) befriender scheme.
The residents, some with dementia, greatly enjoy their time with the young people, who, for their part, say they are more confident, have more patience and also feel their older friends can offer support that friends of their own age cannot.
One of the students said: “I went to the care home after school today and had such a good time. I talked to Pearl and Alison, who were both lovely, then I talked to Elizabeth. She instantly recognised me and was saying my name after two weeks of not seeing her. I nearly cried (happy tears)! I have made a little ‘girl gang’ with some of the residents, which is making my time so much more enjoyable.”
These initiatives enable young and older people to meet and interact, which is particularly important, as families are increasingly dispersed and there is less inter-generational contact.