Saxon Mount students spend a day caring for elderly

YOUNGSTERS from a St Leonards school bridged the generation gap during a visit to a day centre for the elderly.

Seven pupils from Saxon Mount Community Special School made the trip to an extra care retirement scheme in Peacehaven as part of Takeover Day.

The national project encourages youngsters to spend a day doing the job of an adult to find out more about what they want to do when they are older.

And while visiting the day centre, the students – who all have special needs – helped organise and run a ‘Glee Club’, under the watchful eye of Mary Curtis.

Mrs Curtis is from the Carers Breaks project team in the county council’s adult social care department which works with carers and people suffering from dementia.

And she was delighted to get some help from the St Leonards students.

One of the pupils, Kirsty Williams, 14, said she loved the experience, especially “helping Mary make the purple poppies for the people to wear.”

The Carers Break club meets at Downlands to provide respite for the carers and the loved ones they look after join the home’s residents for activities and a slap-up lunch.

And during the trip, which took place earlier this month, the pensioners were treated to a special show put on by the visiting students.

It included Indian-style dancing – with eager residents being taught some of the best moves.

The students then talked to staff about the role of a carer support worker and how the extra care housing scheme works.

Saxon Mount teacher Celia Hoad said: “This was the group’s first public performance outside the school and they were apprehensive at first. But we were made so welcome and it’s really helped their confidence.

“We’re now planning visits to other similar schemes.”