Volunteering at Lilian Faithfull Homes
Students visit three of the Lilian Faithfull Care homes once a week during lunchtimes on a weekly basis to talk to residents and participate in activities. Students arrange activities such as the strings group that plays mini concerts on a regular basis and the carol group who visit the homes at Christmas. Students also visit a number of other care homes in the local community where they have been involved in reminiscence drama workshops.
The aims of the project are for the mutual benefit of care home residents and students whereby loneliness can be alleviated and conversation and activities can enrich the lives of the residents. The students also benefit by developing their skills and by learning about the world through the residents' experiences.
Critical factors to success involve regular commitment and high expectations from the students and good communication between the organisations.
This project has been running for decades and so represents a long-term partnership and commitment to the local community. With a rise in an ageing population in the UK and an increase in dementia, the need for visits to elderly care homes is increasing. Consequently we now also visit several other care homes.
Both teaching and non-teaching staff are involved in the organisation and maintenance of this project.
The three care homes are asked for feedback on the effectiveness of the visits and ideas for improvements on a termly basis.
Students are aged between 16 and 18 years old.