Care home in blooming top pupil makover

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Caring pupils from a Hartlepool school are helping to breathe new life into an elderly care home as part of a garden rejuvenation project.

The kind-hearted youngsters from Catcote Academy are picking up spades, trowels and brushes to spruce up the outside areas of Queens Meadow Care Home, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool.

The work will involve painting and installing a seaside mural and landscaping the front garden of the home.

Five hundred pounds worth of products have been donated by MKM Building Supplies, in Hartlepool, and £200 from Charles Dickens to kick-start the initiative.

The pupils are now appealing for further donations of bedding plants, flowers, garden equipment, paint, soil and wood.

Jordan Rowntree and Ethan Keanen, Year 7 and 8 pupils at Catcote Academy, have written to local businesses with their appeal.

They said: “Over the next five weeks we are going to be renovating the gardens and entrance area of Queens Meadow Care Home on Stockton Road, Hartlepool.

“We chose to volunteer there so the elderly people have a nice environment to sit and enjoy. We also plan to create a mural of areas of Hartlepool so they can remember their childhood memories.”

Catcote Academy is a secondary, co-education special school for pupils with learning difficulties, including autism, sensory and physical impairments, language and communication troubles.

Paul Sowerby, teacher at Catcote, said: “The project is our annual submission to the Citizenship Foundation’s ‘Giving Nation’ in which young people devise a way to make a positive contribution to society. The pupils thought that volunteering to help the elderly was a great idea and wanted to use up some of their energy through gardening. The mural was decided upon after a visit and seeing a great opportunity in a blank wall. In addition to this, the students are keen to work directly with the residents in social activities. The benefits to pupils are enormous.

Hopefully, they can take the positivity from being a part of a team and use the experience to help them when they are not feeling so good about themselves.” Anyone interested in donating materials or tools for the project should contact Paul Sowerby by email on psowerby@hpoolcatcote.org.uk or by telephone on (01429) 264036.