"Having the students in really brightens the residents days and everyone always has a wonderful time, especially when taking part in the activities."
Louis du Toit, activities coordinator
Vicky Hunt (18) and Kanisha Foster (18) from Taunton and Bridgewater College and Elinor Bates (17) from Richard Huish College are studying Health & Social Care Level 1 & 2 and needed an industry-based placement to support their studies.
The students spend time in various different sections of the home, learning important procedures including medicine monitoring, meal time supervision and activities planning and coordination.
Louis du Toit, activities coordinator at Oake Meadows, has been an advocate for the successful relationship between the home and local colleges, as he believes the inter-generational interaction not only has positive outcomes for the students and their studies but also provides stimulation for the residents.
Elinor said: "Although my goal is to become a Paramedic, this experience is incredibly valuable as it gives me the opportunity to improve my people skills and communication with individuals that are vulnerable.
“I was touched by the sense of humour shown by the residents and loved hearing about their own memories of being a teenager and starting their studies and career plans."
Louis said: “Since starting in my role as activities coordinator two years ago, I knew I wanted to get something like this work experience placement put in motion.
“Having the students in really brightens the residents’ days and everyone always has a wonderful time, especially when taking part in the activities.
“Though the things the students can do are limited, I always make sure to assign time to speaking to our dedicated carers and nurses so that the students can get a real feel of what it’s like to work in a care home.”
Kanisha said: “This is a great opportunity to grow and learn. The residents are very friendly, and kind and I was accepted immediately. They have so many interesting stories and were welcoming from the start.
“Every young person should have this opportunity."
Oake Meadows forms part of Larchwood Care and is managed by Healthcare Management Solutions. 76% of Larchwood Care Homes are rated as ‘Good’ or above by the CQC, above the industry average.