You’re never too old to learn something new. That’s what 104 year old resident Irene Muggeridge has just proved at Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, a care home in Wokingham. The Home recently joined the Unit Award Scheme (UAS), which allows student residents to engage with learning and have their achievements formally recognised. Under this scheme, resident Irene took up arts and crafts lessons to create her own woollen pom-pom, an accomplishment that came with an official certificate.
“I enjoyed making the pop-pom and using a new piece of equipment I had never used before. It was hard to start with, but I soon learnt how to use it,” she said.
When Irene was presented with the certificate, she exclaimed: “I am so pleased to get this. I cannot believe I have this lovely certificate! My son Alan will be so happy to see it.” Despite her age, she is now the first resident at Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court to become a UAS certified student.
“I don’t think of my age. I put it out of my mind. I don’t think about me being over a 100,” she admits. “You are only as young as you feel, and I feel young. Even at my age, I am happy to have a go at anything.”
The care home joined the Unit Award Scheme so residents could build up a portfolio of certificates to evidence their skills, knowledge and experience. “This boosts their confidence, increases their engagement and improves their motivation,” says Sharon Fletcher, one of the Home’s Activities Coordinators and Irene’s teacher for this Unit Award. “I am excited to lead this new initiative within the Home and this vision of “Life Long Learning” shows how flexible, confident and courageous our residents are. We encourage them to make progress on their lifelong learning journey.”
Residents at Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court have now an even wider range of activities to choose from. These cover many subjects: life skills, arts and crafts, outdoor activities and related learning linked to the experiences they’ve had in life. As Activities Coordinator Sharon Fletcher explains, anyone can take part in the scheme. “These activities are fully inclusive for all abilities and ages, so everyone, including staff members at the Home, have now the opportunity to participate. We will continue with this “Life Long Learning” at the care home to develop new skills and experiences, but most importantly to enjoy all we do.”
To be able to enter in the scheme, the care home registered as a centre for the Unit Award Scheme. The Association of Friends of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh Court, an independent charity that works closely with the Home, provided the necessary funding for this new adventure.
“The next step,” concludes Sharon Fletcher, “is to help residents and staff utilise their newly obtained skills to engage with community-based projects.”