Pupils from school are spreading festive cheer by befriending vulnerable and elderly residents at Shakespeare Court care home.

The pupils have been visiting the care home to provide companionship by playing games, reading and singing with the residents.

Pupils at the school are also raising funds to help buy equipment and small gifts for the residents.

The visits and fundraising are part of the school’s annual Festive Winter Gift Programme, which is part of a wider programme that takes place across the 28 schools that are all part of the multi-academy trust, Star Academies.

Julie-Ann Fitton, Care Home Manager at Shakespeare Court praised the children and told how their visits had helped to bring joy to the residents. She said:

“We are so grateful for these wonderful visits to our care home. The carers have been amazed by the level of engagement shown by the residents. One gentleman who ordinarily will never sit still, played games and listened to stories for an hour trying to engage in conversation with the children. It was wonderful to see. These visits have made such a difference and having so many wonderful young people visit really has helped to spread joy around our care home.”

Ann Winter, Principal of Barkerend Primary Leadership Academy, said that the programme is an important part of school life as it helps children to learn about the spirit of goodwill during the festive season. She said:

“We are extremely proud of how our pupils have embraced The Festive Winter Gift Programme. They have shown maturity beyond their years by reaching out to provide friendship and kindness to more vulnerable members of our community. As a school, we are committed to playing an active role in our community and helping others and we hope that our annual Festive Winter Gift Programme will touch the lives of many local people this winter.”