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Waypoints Plymouth partnership
with local school

Residents at Waypoints dementia care home have taken part in memory workshops with local students in a pioneering ‘city friendly’ initiative in Plymouth.

A special relationship has been forged between Waypoints, as a provider of quality innovative dementia care, and Stoke Damerel Community College which has committed to placing dementia awareness and understanding at the heart of core curriculum learning for its pupils.


A Level students from Stoke Damerel have been visiting the specialist Waypoints home in Ernesettle Lane for activity sessions involving arts and crafts to stimulate memories and social interaction for the residents.


Waypoints Plymouth is a 64-bedroom home designed specifically for residents with dementia – the condition associated with deterioration of the brain function which can affect memory, language, understanding and judgement.


Head of Care at Waypoints Plymouth, Susie Theobold, said: “When we heard that Stoke Damerel was applying dementia-related issues to main curriculum subjects we recognised, as a specialist care provider, that this was a mutually beneficial opportunity for our residents to also enjoy the company of young people and the therapy from the memory workshops. We couldn’t have asked for a more positive response from our residents and the students and we intend to develop this initiative in the future.”


Lana Helmore, the Stoke Damerel Community College lead for this work, said: “There is no better way of learning and getting a real understanding of dementia-related issues for our students than meeting and working alongside people living with this condition. Some young people have experience of dementia, perhaps with their grandparents, but we hope our visits to Waypoints and other care homes in the city will strengthen wider connections between young and older people in our community. This experience will be useful for the students, whether they go on to have careers in the health care profession or will have someone in their own family living with dementia.”


Sixth former Jasmine, attending a second memory workshop at Waypoints, said: “It’s fun - I find meeting people with dementia in person is much better than reading about it in class.”  Jasmine, who created a memory board with resident Dominic, said: “I have a better background knowledge about dementia and I think that should make me more patient and understanding when I meet people with dementia.”


A Level Health and Social Care student Katherine, who created a memory board with 99 year-old Gwen, said: “Talking and reading about dementia is fine but coming to Waypoints has been a more interesting way to learn. I really enjoy meeting the people living here and there’s a lot of laughter.”


Ian Sherriff, the academic partnership lead for dementia with Plymouth University, said: “There are 21 schools around the country on the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly challenge. Stoke Damerel is the only school taking all core curriculum subjects, like maths, English, science and drama, to explore issues related to dementia. A shining example of this is the inter-generational work happening at Waypoints care home.”

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