On 13th July the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, Kirsty Williams, Assembly Member and Cllr Paul Ashton, Leader of Powys County Council, visited our Llanfaes Community Primary School and Trenewydd Care Home inter-generational project.
The Commissioner and Kirsty Williams were aware of the project having viewed the film produced by the County Council, and were keen to see it first hand. Cllr Ashton has been involved with Brecon Dementia Friends since its inception, is a Dementia Friends Champion and was instrumental in moving the County Council towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Authority. He has been aware of our project from the start and welcomed the opportunity to see it for himself. On a personal level, Paul also has a long-term connection with Trenewydd.
The visit started with Sarah, Kirsty and Paul talking to year 5 and 6 pupils, all of whom were engaged in dementia-related work, hearing the school choir sing their dementia-themed songs and discussing with the Head, Karen Lawrence, and other staff the positive impact involvement with Dementia Friends has had on the life of the school.
We then took the visitors and a group of the year 6 pupils who’ve been involved in the project on the short journey to Trenewydd. It’s fair to say that the visitors were amazed by the progress that has been made on the garden since the start of the project a few short months ago, and were genuinely touched by the lovely relationships that have been established between the children and residents; they saw for themselves how the residents come alive when the children walk in. Before leaving Trenewydd the visitors joined residents in a game of bingo, with the children calling the numbers.
This project has become integral to Llanfaes School, and the new year 6 pupils are enthusiastic about getting to know the residents and getting their hands dirty in what is now a beautiful, welcoming garden!
The final stop of the day was a brief visit to the Singing for Life project in the Muse, which gave the visitors the opportunity to talk to Sarah Harman (who runs Singing for Life) about its impact on those involved. They were also able to talk to some of the people who are living with dementia who attend regularly, plus their carers, and also the volunteers who contribute so much.
Below the visitors, residents and pupils enjoy the Bingo.