Community Care: Building positive relationships with our neighbours through performance and conversation
Our students want to have a positive impact on their immediate community. Changing the world is not easy, but making a positive change to our own neighbourhood is something that we can achieve. Melrose is a local nursing home that enjoys inviting in young people to spend time with their residents. Our students meet around once every half-term and give musical performances, poetry reading, lead "sing-alongs" and take time to chat and build relationships.
The aims of the project are:
- To positively impact people within our immediate community
- To give freely of our time and talents to serve others
- To learn wisdom from people who have lived long lives and have stories to tell
- To simply express care and respect
Melrose Nursing Home has linked with Deputy Headteacher for many years - even before he worked at Our Lady of Sion School.
When Steven Jeffery joined our school, he continued the link with Melrose after the requested that he continued to bring young people the residential home.
This link has been established with Our Lady of Sion since January 2015.
Critical resources are young people willing to give of their time and talents with the confidence to build relationships with older people. Obviously, it is also vital for the residents to want to engage with the young people too.
Currently, our young people have visited the residential home, but there is scope to run Art workshops, afternoon tea events etc at the school.
Currently, two members of staff are regularly involved and these happen to be teaching staff.
These events do not cost anything.
Parents have contacted the school to say how much they value the opportunity for their children to be part of this community outreach programme. The children really enjoy these opportunities and regularly ask when the next visit will take place. Children volunteer to take part. The anticipated outcomes of these visits are found within the aims. Children will recognise that giving of their time and talents to serve others has a very positive effect on people and their wellbing. The people who are visited also have spoken of how much they enjoy seeing the children - always asking for us to return.
The main message is that we can make a difference - perhaps not on a global scale, but positively affecting our immediate community is valuable and worthwhile.
We usually take between 15 and 20 students to each visit.
The pupils range from Year 7 up to Year 10
The gender is always mixed.
This activity is ongoing and we aim to visit Melrose once each half-term.
Our aim is that this will continue for as long as Melrose recognises that it is a valuable opportunity.