#WeWill Social Care Project

My name is Anita Baker, and I am the Project Team Lead for OSSMA's #WeWill Social Care project, running in conjunction with Ormiston Academies Trust the Lottery Fund.

With the help of Nina Pemberton, Assistant Principal here at OSSMA, the #WeWill Social Care project is an intergenerational social project involving students in Year 8 from Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, pupils from Year 4 in two local primary schools and our local care home, NG Healthcare.

We are attempting to raise £750.00 to support research into Alzheimer's and dementia. Having lost both my parents to this cruel disease, it is a cause very close to my heart. Nina also sadly lost her Nan to dementia. It goes without saying that raising awareness is something that we both care deeply about.

As we are situated in an area with a high level of deprivation, it is a huge task for us to reach our monetary fundraising target. So, to this end, we have decided on several fundraisers and approached large companies who may be able to assist in some way, no matter how large or small.

The #WeWill Social Care project has been set up for two reasons. Following on from Peter Murray's generous donation and help from lottery funding, the project aims to raise awareness of dementia. It will teach our students about community spirit, supporting their peers and doing their bit to help their community by supporting elderly residents at a local care home, which will also help to combat loneliness.

When my father died last year, despite spending £275,000 on his care, we simply received a bin liner full of old clothes as our final memory from the care home. This was devastating for my sister and me - to see our father reduced to a 'metaphorical bin bag'!

So, I have made it a mission to ensure that residents' families never have to experience this heartache again. Instead, they can be given a beautiful memory box to take away that they can also make with their family if they wish, as a fond memory to look back on.

Research has proved that activities help keep the brain active. Our boxes are designed by the students based on conversations with residents about hobbies, memories, oral history and sharing copies of old photos. The students will then sell the boxes at the fundraiser and the leftover boxes gifted to NG Healthcare so they can begin to implement the project with their residents.

We are also making 'All About Me' books to ensure our families are not forgotten and that relatives have another lovely memory to take home with them at the end of care.

The 'All about me Book' will be placed on the resident's bedside cabinet so any bank nursing staff coming into the home can read and learn about the residents. This enables them to see their patients as individuals with hopes and dreams and learn about who they were and what they stood for. This will also give them an understanding and affection for the person they are caring for. Visitors to the home can also add their own messages to the book. This becomes a lovely keepsake for relatives to take home at the end of care.

Year 4 students from the primary schools have been coming into OSSMA over recent weeks and working with our Year 8 students on these projects.