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Pupils use flower power at Wrexham care home

A group of kind-hearted primary schoolchildren used flower power to brighten up the lives of residents at a care home in Wrexham.

The Year 5 and 6 pupils from Ysgol Bodhyfryd planted daffodils and other bulbs in flowerpots they decorated themselves and presented them to residents of Pendine Park’s Hillbury care home as a keepsake.

The visit was part of an intergenerational project that’s seen the youngsters visit Hillbury once a fortnight.

Also, there on this occasion was the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Rob Walsh, who said it was a wonderful idea.

The project was the brainchild of Heulwen Harris, the school’s retired deputy head, whose late father was a resident at Hillbury.

As a result, the pupils go on visits to the care home to make friends with the residents and get involved in a range of activities.

They’ve been planting Spring bulbs in the grounds, painting a garden bench and even pimping up the walking frames of some residents with some funky designs.

Heulwen said: “My father, who has sadly passed away, was a resident here and I just thought children would benefit from meeting residents and getting to know them. It is a two-way thing and residents get a great deal from it too.

“It stemmed from the first intergenerational project which was centred around the Hillbury gardens and now we have as many as 90 Year 5 and 6 children taking it in turns to come along fortnightly.

“We decided to try bringing some reception children along too and they have really enjoyed it. It’s lovely to see the interaction between children and residents and it’s obvious they are all benefitting.

“In fact, we have seen some very special friendships form between residents and children, it’s quite touching actually.”

She added: “For this project children made flower containers from plastic food containers which they then decorated. They then, with the help of some residents, filled them with compost and planted miniature daffodils and other small bulbs.

“They are going to be presented to residents to keep and care for. They will certainly brighten their rooms.”

Cllr Walsh said: “It was a pleasure to see these wonderful young people so relaxed and clearly enjoying the company of elderly residents. I’d actually go as far as to say it’s an honour to have been here.

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“It’s clear children are really benefitting from this project as are the residents. I’d like to see more intergenerational projects such as this. It really is amazing and something special.

“Well done Pendine Park Care Organisation and Ysgol Bodhyfryd on what is a great joint scheme.”

Pupil, Taylor Jones, 10, always looks forward to visiting Hillbury House and said: “I really like coming to see the older people. Today we have planted daffodils, with residents, into recycled pots we decorated first.

“It’s been great and I love hearing stories about what life was like for the older people when they were young.”

Fellow pupil Ela Purton, 10, says she always looks forward to talking to residents and finding out about their lives.

She said: “It’s really good. I enjoyed planting the bulbs and talking to residents as we worked, they are lovely and we will give each resident a pot of daffodils to keep.

“It’s nice for the older people to get to see and talk to children. I also liked talking to the Mayor of Wrexham and learning about what he does as mayor.”

Cole Belton, also 10, added: “I do enjoy meeting the older people and I liked making the pots and planting the bulbs. We have done a few things in the garden before which has also been nice.

Resident Muriel Tyrell enjoyed meeting the children and thought the flowerpots were lovely.

She said: “It’s always nice to see the children, they are so lovely. And the flowerpots are really nice and will help brighten up my room.”

Hillbury manager Cindy Clutton said: “The residents always look forward to the visits by the pupils from Bodhyfryd.

“We always have a lot of activities going on at Hillbury but these visits are very special and it is lovely to see the bond between the generations.”

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