Residents at Hartford Care’s Boulters Lock care home in Maidenhead were recently visited by a group of eight teenager volunteers taking part in NCS (National Citizen Service).

Run in Maidenhead by The Challenge on behalf of NCS Trust, the NCS programme is designed to develop young people’s confidence and skills in understanding, trusting and connecting with other people and their communities.

Organised through a partnership between Hartford Care and The Challenge, the teens’ visits to the care home aimed to create common ground and stimulate interest in the residents’ previous careers and the teens’ future aspirations. The teens visited three times in October and November, ending with an exciting Volunteer Event Day.

Seva Hashimova, registered manager of Boulters Lock, said: “Our residents loved meeting and talking with the teenage volunteers because of the fun they bring. Our residents learn new things, and enjoy sharing their stories and ideas, both of which are great for interaction and communication skills. The programme brings both generations together in a unique way and we really value the time the teens spend with us.”

The first visit allowed the teen volunteers to become acquainted with the care home environment and meet the residents and staff members to help brainstorm ideas. During visit two the volunteers shared their ideas with residents and staff to receive feedback, gather additional information for research and interview residents about their past careers.

The residents shared memories of their previous professions and careers which ranged from being a teacher, an assistant pharmacist in Devon, a typist, a head of German languages at a school, and working at Lloyds Bank in London with dealers. Betty Cokerill (pictured below) was a pharmaceutical librarian who remembers her administration duties and talks fondly about different medicines and her former work colleagues.

The final visit was the Volunteer Event Day, offering feel good fun through a variety of activities such as a special ‘Guess Who’ game tailored to the residents at Boulters lock using information about their lives. Entertainment included karaoke, makeovers and pamper sessions with manicures and hair styling to provide a social get-together. Music was also used a storytelling device, with a ‘now and then’ theme to stimulate conversations, asking “what music did you listen to when you were our age compared to songs we hear nowadays?”.

Edward Hulme, assistant programme manager at The Challenge, said:“Boutlers Lock was very welcoming, and we’re glad that the visits were memorable for both the young people and the residents. I even heard a resident saying that it made them truly happy that the young people had taken time out of their day to talk them.

“The Challenge strives to create a more integrated society, and by helping these young people to gain a greater understanding and empathy for a different generation, I believe their visits to Boutlers Lock will have a long-lasting effect on the local community.”

We look forward to working with Hartford Care again soon!