Pupils team up with dementia patients for spot of festive fun

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Children from primary schools in Doncaster have been meeting dementia patients to help them make Christmas cards and bake buns.

The scheme is part of a dementia awareness project running at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Primary School in Bentley and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Primary School in Armthorpe.

Karis Mowatt, 10, said: “I like coming to the group and have enjoyed helping Cyril to make his Christmas card.

“We usually cook and play games, which is what I like best.”

More than 200 children aged between nine and 11 have been involved with the scheme.;

It sees a group of children visiting a day centre for an hour of activities and discussions with dementia patients.

Children from the Bentley primary visit Bentley Lodge day centre once a fortnight and children from the Armthorpe primary visit Armthorpe Lodge day centre once a week. Community memory therapy service team manager, Mary Beardsley, said: “The children are learning how to relate to older people and understand how people with dementia can make a contribution to their lives.

“In addition, our service users are getting a chance to enjoy the company of lively youngsters and raise their own self-esteem and confidence. Some youngsters will not have any contact with older people as their grandparents may be relatively young.”

She added: “This project is a really effective way of bringing different generations together, nurturing a spirit of tolerance and acceptance.”