Teens help OAPs rock!

Joan Whitworth, 82, with some of the young volunteers.
Joan Whitworth, 82, with some of the young volunteers.

A social media sensation has brought together elderly care home residents and teenage volunteers.

Northumberland Rocks involves people painting stones and pebbles and hiding them around the county.

Those who discover the stones take a photo and post it on Facebook.

Now residents at The Oaks Care Home in Blyth are taking part, alongside young volunteers from charity Catch 22’s National Citizenship Service.

More than a dozen 15 to 17-year-olds spent two days at the home running arts and crafts sessions, which involved decorating stones.

They also held pamper sessions and a coffee morning for residents and their relatives, serving cakes, biscuits, tea and coffee.

The volunteers also spent the time learning about dementia, its affects and how to care for those living with the condition.

Paige Gallagher, activities coordinator at The Oaks, said: “It was great the students chose The Oaks for their social action project.

“The residents thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them.

“Initially, the students thought they understood what dementia was, but it was a revelation for them to see how quickly things like memory loss can take hold.

“This made them more determined to make a lasting impact on the residents’ lives.”

Ann Mielnik, home manager, added: “Communication between different generations is so important.

“Elderly people have a wealth of knowledge and humour to impart and its’s great to see young people taking the time to interact, learn and enjoy the company of the

residents.”

Jack Davis is the group leader for the NCS at Catch 22, a not-for- profit social business delivering social care and education, among other public services across the UK.

He said: “The group had a great time and found it very rewarding. Many of the students want to go back to The Oaks to visit the residents again.”