Darrick Wood School pupils have been very fortunate to have visited the Saxon Day Care Centre, located just by the Walnuts Centre in Orpington. Here they support many elderly people form the local community and we are delighted that throughout the year we will be visiting the centre. So far we have taken two groups of pupils to visit. Pupils from Year 7 to 13 were selected to recognise the excellent efforts that they have made both inside and outside lessons. We also identified pupils who had made a particularly significant progress. Below is a sample of pupils thoughts from their visits.
“I believe that the idea of using charitable donations as a form of reward is a fantastic idea, as it helps people to be part of and contribute to something bigger than themselves, by them helping the community or anyone else who finds themselves in need of assistance. It is also a reward in itself to know that our contribution will help to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from dementia.” Cameron Grant.
“When we arrived friendly workers greeted us and led us to the main hall where the clients were gathered. That day the entertainment was an Elvis Presley impersonator. He interacted with his audience and was really funny. There were cookies and cakes laid out on the tables, all supplied courtesy of Sainsbury’s, Orpington. We sat next to some individuals and talked, they were all really nice and approachable. I think it would be lovely if we could visit more often and help out and organise more activities so they can stay active, for example gardening would be good so they could get some fresh air, also it should be fun! I think it is a great idea opening a cinema too, as it would be easily accessible and the majority of people I spoke to loved films. I also benefitted from the visit as it developed my communication skills . Overall I had a fantastic time.” Charlotte Connelly.
“When we arrived at the Saxon Day Care Centre we were cheerfully greeted by the staff. They led us through to where the centre users were. We sat down at the tables with different people. We talked to them about school and what we do in our spare time whilst an entertainer sung Elvis songs. Once we had finished talking we were taken into a back room that was going to be turned into a cinema and IT room, with the money that we had earned from our Classcharts points. Finally we went outside and had photographs taken with the centre staff before returning to school.” Annalise Lawrence.
“Seeing their faces light up when all of us walked in made me smile. I was sad and annoyed at how we may have been the only people who had talked to some of them for a while – excluding the staff, of course – but conversing with them was great. I had come to the realisation, during my visit, that talking to an elderly person with dementia isn’t actually that difficult, it’s just the same as talking to an elderly person who doesn’t have it. Really. The difference is that subtle. Knowing the changes that will take place over the year at the Centre, I’m excited to see the long-term effect of our donation.” Sarah Adedeji.