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Thomas Gainsborough School students in Great Cornard hailed for commitment to Yopey dementia befriending scheme

By Priya Kingsley-Adam

Students from Thomas Gainsborough School have completed the YOPEY dementia befriender scheme. (6903194)
Students from Thomas Gainsborough School have completed the YOPEY dementia befriender scheme. (6903194)

Students have been praised for their commitment to a training programme, which has equipped them with key skills to support elderly people with dementia.

Having successfully completed the training, the project will enable sixth form students at Thomas Gainsborough School to provide companionship to those living with the disease.

Run by charity Yopey, the dementia befriender scheme is designed to bring together young people and care home residents.

Kenny Alexander, director of sixth form, praised the benefits of the initiative, as the school enters its third year taking part in the project.

“We are extremely proud to be involved again with the befriender scheme,” he said.

“Our sixth form students have gained such an insight into care in our community, as well as being able to make a difference with the residents.

“Our students have also gained invaluable skills which will make such a difference in their next steps and I believe that our continued commitment and collaboration with the befriender scheme will continue to grow and benefit all involved.”

The students will provide much-needed support to residents at Mellish House care home in Great Cornard.

Tony Gearing, who runs the charity, hopes the scheme will continue to provide mutual benefits.

“Having served young people, I now want to help young people serve the elderly and possibly create the best intergenerational scheme in the country,” he said.

“The partnership between Thomas Gainsborough’s sixth form and Mellish House is a forerunner in what I hope will become a well-trodden path between schools and care homes, especially in Suffolk and the East of England.”


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