Five years of special croquet sessions
15 November 2017
The College celebrated five years of holding croquet sessions for people living with dementia as a new group of Year 7s got to grips with the rules of the game.
The College welcomed back Andrew and James Creasey from charity Jiminy Wicket - who run the sessions as part of their Through Hoops to Hope project - James flew in especially from his home in Denver.
Through Hoops to Hope was born when the Creaseys’ father, Maxwell, was diagnosed with dementia and James began to search for an enjoyable way for them to spend time together.
The students who took part will now go on to run more sessions for care home residents in 2018.
"As usual your students were just delightful - they are an absolutely amazing credit to themselves and to the school, " said Andrew.
"They get to know a bit more about how the mind of a senior with dementia may be working and it gives them a tolerance and understanding."
Tonia Newitt, activities coordinator at Hartley Park Care Home said the sessions were "extremely valuable" for the residents she accompanied this time.
"It's been fantastic - they benefit on so many levels and are really loving the attention," said Tonia.
"One of our residents, who is normally quite reserved, has been really interacting with the young people - it's been lovely to see."
Year 7 student Alanna said she had been "a bit nervous" about being involved for the first time.
"But there was no reason to be nervous," she said.
"I helped Peter and he was really good at croquet.
"Meeting everybody has been a lot of fun and I'm already looking forward to the next time we do it."
Stoke Damerel was invited to become one of 21 Dementia Pioneer Schools as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia in 2012.
Since then the College has worked to embed dementia education across the curriculum from running the croquet sessions to designing dementia-friendly games in Maths.
In May 2014 the College was the winner in the Alzheimer's Society's first ever Dementia Friendly Awards in the School/College category.
"The students took to working with the older people like they’d been doing it for years, " said PE teacher Miss Le Page who runs the sessions in the College.
"'I'm so proud of our students and we are all looking forward to the next event."