Young show care for old

A GREAT Yarmouth College student has set up a new volunteer scheme offering activities to elderly people in care homes. Cassy Hamilton was inspired to come up with the idea after spending time with her grandfather in hospital shortly before he died and experiences in her part-time job as a carer for old people.

A GREAT Yarmouth College student has set up a new volunteer scheme offering activities to elderly people in care homes.

Cassy Hamilton was inspired to come up with the idea after spending time with her grandfather in hospital shortly before he died and experiences in her part-time job as a carer for old people.

Reflecting on her relationship with her own grandfather, she realised how the lives of both young people and the elderly could be enriched by regular contact between the two.

As a result she has launched a new project for Yarmouth College's enrichment programme - a diverse range of out-of-class time opportunities to broaden experiences.

The project, called Be Wiser Younger, involves a volunteer scheme with students working with older people on art and other activities in a care home at Burgh House, Burgh Castle.

In her first session Cassy took art and craft skills she learned on her BTEC First Diploma in art and design into the home to work with residents on St George's Day cards

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She said: “Everyone loved it and we had such a good time I knew it would be a worthwhile thing to continue.”

Now students visit the home, which cares for 34 residents, once a week offering different activities.

On Wednesday students handed over five wooden planters made by college staff Mark Gilbert and Lindon Haylett and planted up by horticulture tutor Grainne Donovan.

Cassy added: “Like many other young people, I didn't really think about old people. I used to go out, enjoy myself and not think about it. But spending time with my grandfather in hospital after his heart attack before he died made me realise how much we can gain from old people and the pleasure they can get from being with us.”

Cassy has since been offered a part-time job at the home which she will juggle with her new two-year college course she starts next month.

Enrichment co-ordinator Yvonne Gibbs said she was delighted with how the scheme had taken off and Cassy's commitment and infectious enthusiasm.