Retired teacher and Signature at Wandsworth Common care home resident, Francis Johnson is no stranger to the younger generation and has used her links to local Emmanuel School to set up the partnership.
Francis Johnson used to teach at Battersea-based Emmanuel School, with a number of residents who have grandchildren attending the school it has proved the ideal partner.
The foundation of this partnership is weekly ‘Tea and Tech Chats’ at the home where both generations can swap anecdotes, share life experiences and students are on hand to provide technology support.
Sixth form students are volunteering their time as part of the partnership to help residents with activities such as online shopping, using social media, sending emails, taking photos for their families and downloading podcasts.
This is only the beginning for the partnership, as the home is planning a concert in July and hopes to continue inspiring the younger generation to engage with the elderly in the community.
Kimone LeCruise, Activities Supervisor at Signature at Wandsworth Common commented on the power of cross generation relationships and said: “It is so lovely to see the resident’s and younger generation chatting and laughing together. The students have been really helpful with the activities, particularly the board games. The students are always punctual, polite, keen and willing to get involved, a credit to their school.”
Sarah Buckley, a resident who has been involved in the weekly visits commented on the positive impact one particular student has had on her and said: “Herbert was so much fun to talk to, we talked about cars. He couldn’t believe how much I knew about them. He is a local boy and a delight to spend my afternoon with.”