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‘His face lit up’ - How a Hartlepool school and care home are helping each other

Pupils at Ward Jackson C of E Primary school serve tea and cakes to visiting pensioners.
Pupils at Ward Jackson C of E Primary school serve tea and cakes to visiting pensioners.

A primary school might not be the place you would expect to see a group of elderly people.

But that was the case at Ward Jackson C of E Primary in Hartlepool when young children threw a tea party for residents and staff from the town’s Charlotte Grange Care Home.

The four and five-year-olds have been getting to know the people at Chartlotte Grange rather well by visiting the home once a week.

There the youngsters spend time chatting and playing games with the elderly residents, some of whom have no family.

Both the school and home say it has been a massive success.

Reception teacher Sarah Hunter said: “It is part of the children’s enrichment time and it has been a lovely experience.

“We thought for a treat as it was the last Friday before summer we would invited them in to school for a tea party.”

The visits were organised by Ward Jackson’s Tracy Cass.

In a letter to the school the home’s manager Margaret Spence said: “What a wonderful experience this has been for the residents at Charlotte, they have loved the visits and talked about it after.

“The children were very natural and completely oblivious to their surroundings ie people with disabilities or dementia, they have such nice manners.

“We have a gentleman who has no family, and the only people he sees is the staff.

“The children really took to him, on their arrival they would say ‘there’s John’ and go to him it was quite emotional to see how his face lit up.”