Passion for Learning’s “Share a Smile” Project
Linking Schools with Care Homes
How did it all start?
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 our staff had first-hand experience of how family members in care homes were suffering, either from contracting the virus or from the isolation felt from not being able to see family and friends. Passion for Learning decided they should try and help cheer up the residents in some way and we began planning what we could do. We knew that many older people felt isolated from their communities and, in particular, they missed the company of children and young people. Many of our children were also missing time with their grandparents so we saw a wonderful opportunity to make a wonderful link between the two.
We selected a few local homes to deliver goody bags to.
We included useful items such as hand cream and sanitiser, tissues, pens, wordsearch books and some chocolate treats. Some of the pupils from our partner primary schools wrote chatty letters to send too. These were very well received.
The project then grew and grew
Following on from the success of our first deliveries, goody bags were provided to more homes and sheltered housing establishments. We extended our area to include Ellesmere Port, Chester, Northwich and Winsford.
We decided to link the primary schools we work with to their local care home and, to date, we now have 12 primary schools linked to a care home or sheltered housing facility.
At Christmas 2020 all our schools made beautiful cards which were delivered to the homes along with a chocolate Christmas treat.
The Year 5 class from Parklands Primary School, Ellesmere Port were able to go along to their local home, Whetstone Hey, to sing Christmas songs outside. The residents were able to watch from the windows of the lounge or their rooms. Passion for Learning provided mince pies for the residents to enjoy whilst watching. There were lots of smiles and waves between the children and the residents.
One resident at Whetstone Hey was celebrating her 100th birthday just after Christmas and the class made a giant card for her too.
n February 2021, with no sign of the restrictions improving, we decided to share the love with a Valentine’s theme. Children made cards with hearts on and we provided little heart bags and chocolates.
At Easter, the primary school children were able to help us out again with lots of lovely cards which we took to the homes with a chocolate Easter bunny for each of the residents. Again, these were much appreciated.
We are currently working on our next campaign to “Share a Smile”. The children are going to draw their own smiley face on a postcard and write down what makes them smile. These will be shared with the school’s linked care home along with another tasty treat from Passion for Learning! We hope that some of the residents will reply with what makes them smile too!
Passion for Learning are committed to continuing with this project to support the elderly and isolated. Our ultimate aim is for the children to actually meet the residents at the home when it is safe to do so.
If you would like further details of this very special project, or would like to be involved in some way, please contact:
Craig Tierney – Project and Events Manager