Students stage Christmas tea party for 100

Kind-hearted pupils from a county academy are preparing to stage a Christmas afternoon tea for 100 people with dementia and their carers.

The Blyth Academy pupils will hold the afternoon tea today (Thursday), following a successful first event last year.

Alison Hayes, who volunteers as the academy’s Dementia Friendly School co-ordinator, said: “Support from the students for the event is amazing – they all want to be involved.

“We are a community school and there are a lot of people living with dementia, our staff are trained Dementia Friends as are many of our students and soon they all will be.

“Our academy is among the first in the country taking a whole school approach to becoming a Dementia Friendly School, linking raising awareness of the condition into all subjects.”

As well as festive treats at the gathering there will be entertainment with seasonal songs from the school choir and a visit from male voice quartet the Newmonics.

A major talking point last year was images from Blyth’s past projected on the wall during the event and a sequence of photographs will feature again this time.

Amy Syron-Mallenby, Alzheimer’s Society development officer, said: “Students and staff go to great lengths to make people from the local community affected by dementia feel welcome.

“It is fantastic to see the school embrace the Dementia Friendly Initiative so wholeheartedly.”

Anyone in the local community with dementia and a family member or carer who would like to go along to the Blyth Academy Christmas Gathering between 1pm and 3pm on Tuesday, December 3, can contact Alison Hayes on (01670) 798100.