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Students at Mildenhall College Academy offer friendship to residents at Mabbs Hall care home




A charity boss is looking to create the ‘best intergenerational scheme in the country’ after students were trained to make friends with elderly people living with dementia.

Sixth formers at Mildenhall College Academy have joined charity Yopey’s befriender initiative to spend time with residents at Mabbs Hall care home in the town.

Tony Gearing, founder of Yopey, said: “Having served young people I now want to help young people serve the elderly and possibly create the best intergenerational scheme in the country.

“The partnership between Mildenhall College Academy’s sixth form and Mabbs Hall is one of the early steps in what I hope will become a well trodden path between schools and care homes.”

A resident at Mabbs Hall care home with Mildenhall College Academy sixth form students, who are taking part in the Yopey befriender scheme. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887886)
A resident at Mabbs Hall care home with Mildenhall College Academy sixth form students, who are taking part in the Yopey befriender scheme. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887886)

At the end of their training, the students visited the residents to help put up Christmas decorations and listen to stories.

They will make weekly trips to the home, in High Street.

Yopey, based in Stradishall, runs a dozen befriender schemes across the country - with most in the East of England.

Teacher Carol Cooper said: “Our students really enjoy chatting to their new friends and already have heard many thought-provoking stories about the past.”

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Resident at Mabbs Hall care home with Mildenhall College Academy students. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887880) Mildenhall College Academy students. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887883) Resident at Mabbs Hall care home with Mildenhall College Academy students. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887903) Resident at Mabbs Hall care home and Mildenhall College Academy student decorate tree. Picture: Chris Fell. (5887910)

Angelica Ibayan, manager at Mabbs Hall, said the scheme gives students ‘greater perspectives in understanding elderly care and brings joy and fun to residents’ activities’.

The scheme is supported by Tesco Bags of Help grants.



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