The last day of term for some of Wiltshire College’s youngest students was a memorable one as they made a special delivery to care home residents with dementia.
Pre 16 carpentry students Jordan Weaver, Corey Norris, Josh Dowse and Anders Rowe were proud to present three twiddle boards to staff and residents of Seymour House care home, situated less than half a mile from the Chippenham campus.
The students measured and cut the wooden boards to size and then attached a range of household fixtures and fittings including door handles, locks, a plug and letter box, which were donated from other departments around the college, Homebase and Timpson in Chippenham as part of a work experience project.
Home manager Dawn Wallburton said: “I am so grateful to the students and college for agreeing to make the twiddle boards for us.
“I saw the idea for them in a magazine and have heard about the benefits of them for anyone living with dementia.
“They are quite expensive though to buy and so I put out an appeal for help and the college kindly agreed that it would be a lovely work experience project for carpentry students.
“For us the boards are an activity for the residents and everyday items such as these can trigger a part of someone’s past, particularly if they don’t have family who are able to share information with us about them.
“In another home a resident took apart a plug and socket completely and then put it back together again.
“We didn’t know anything about him but from this he remembered that he had been an electrician.
“Residents can’t always tell us things and that is why these boards are amazing.
“They have already been a fantastic benefit to the residents and are used daily.
“We have also had lots of positive comments from the residents, their families and visitors.”
Anders has been coming to the Chippenham campus on a weekly basis from Royal Wootton Bassett Academy to study carpentry.
The Year 10 pupil said: “It was a fun project to be involved with and we were all really pleased to be able to do something for the residents at Seymour House.
“I didn’t know what a twiddle board was before this project and it was nice to be able to present them ourselves to the care home.
“We all had the same items to put on the boards but were able to position them where we wanted.”
Wiltshire College welcomes many pre 16 students who come to college and experience a variety of pathways.
Helene Keep is work experience team leader for work experience at Wiltshire College.
She said: “This was a great opportunity for our pre 16 students to engage in work experience which has had such a positive effect on the residents and the students themselves.
“They really showed their mature attitude and this will be an advantage when they look at further study, employment or apprenticeship opportunities.
“They should be very proud.”