Since 2016 we have been working closely with Shaldon Primary School. We matched each pupil in Class Six with one of our clients and they started writing to each other. As they wrote and received more letters there were more and more requests to meet each other, so a series of events was put on throughout the school year:
- A violin concert and Christmas party
- A Reminiscence Session
- Portrait making
- Clay tile making
- A croquet and cream tea afternoon
Some wonderful friendships were started from this and some continue even now that the pupils have moved onto their secondary schools.
Shaldon School and VIH have been asked to speak about the project at conferences in Exeter, Wells, and Birmingham this year, where other schools hope to start similar projects. We have also been to speak with other groups in Totnes, Newton Abbot, and on Hear and Now, the Talking Newspaper.
Shaldon School has won The Speaker’s School Councils Award – one of just four Awards given across the whole of the UK each year – and were invited to parliament to collect this in September 2017. Three of the pupils came to speak about the project at our AGM in September 2017.
This year we will also be working with Our Lady St Patrick’s School in Teignmouth by bringing a group of clients to a Reminiscence Session from which a display will be put together as part of their 50th year celebrations.
We have matched the new Class Six with pen pals for 2017-18, and small groups of pupils from all classes are visiting Teignbridge House in Shaldon each week and doing activities with the residents.
If you would like to know more about the project, would like to set up something similar or be involved in what we are doing, please contact Chloe on 01626 771695.