Pupils gather happy memories
PUPILS from Wellingborough’s Wrenn Academy have helped improve the experience of patients with dementia at Kettering General Hospital by donating 15 memory boxes to the hospital.
Pupils co-ordinated contributions from local companies, parents, individuals, groups and their own and other schools, to produce the themed Memory Boxes.
The boxes are filled with nostalgic items that help staff to strike up conversations with patients with dementia and engage them in activities to make their stay in hospital more comfortable and less stressful.
Emma Smith, the hospital’s admiral nurse, (a dementia nurse specialist) said: “A memory box contains items which can spark vivid memories for a person who has dementia.
“It is something that helps hospital staff to engage with a person and talk about their life and times and find out more about them.
“This in turns helps staff to make a better connection with a person, aids understanding and can help to improve the quality of that patient’s care.
“We are absolutely delighted that the pupils and staff at Wrenn Academy have taken this idea forward, along with help from their local community, and made a major contribution to the hospital’s memory box scheme.
“The 15 new boxes mean that we now have a total of 21, which means that most of our ward areas can now have a box of their own.”
Wrenn Academy principal, Steve Elliott, said: “This has been very much a joint effort between ourselves and the community to help support patients with dementia. Our community co-ordinator Sam Mallett took this idea to the children, and to other local schools, companies and groups, and the response has been magnificent.”
Sam Mallett said: “The children have enjoyed working on the boxes and in the end we had enough items to do lots of different themes including the seaside, music, plumbing, dog grooming, toys, school, a laboratory and arts and crafts.”
Year 8 pupil Tim Adams said: “We went all over the school itself looking for items that could go into the boxes. It’s been very interesting and we have developed lots of boxes with lots of different themes.”
Wellingborough Mayor Cllr Barry Graves said: “It’s brilliant to see children engaging with the community in an activity that helps them to understand Alzheimer’s disease and its effects.”
To donate items for any future boxes, contact Emma Smith on: email@example.com or: 0787-0905052.
Pictured above – KIND HEARTED: Pictured are pupils involved in the project – Lia Owens, Tim Adams, Josh Bates, Junior Lankester, Harvey Smith and Josh Mehrtens – together with Wrenn Academy’s community co-ordinator Sam Mallett, shaking hands with KGH admiral nurse Emma Smith.