History lesson with a twist

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Pupils from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Primary School in Bentley are having unique history lessons – by visiting older people at Bentley Lodge who are sharing their stories.

The sessions are also aimed at helping young people understand dementia.

Tracey Evans, who works for RDaSH’s Community Memory Therapy Services, said: “The pupils come along and will chat to our service users. They may say how they have been playing on a PlayStation or IPad, and our patients will tell them the games they used to play when they were younger. Sometimes the patients will chat about what it was like in the war and their jobs – so the young people learn about what it was like decades ago.

“When the pupils visit, the patients’ eyes light up. They love it when they arrive and they start chatting to them straight away.”

The pupils also help the older people play board games and take part in other activities as part of the project, which helps to reduce the stigma around dementia.

Diane Collins, headteacher at the school, said: “The pupils really enjoy the visits to Bentley Lodge and it is a great way to educate young people about dementia and to give them more awareness of the condition. They also learn a lot about how the patients used to spend their time when they were younger.”