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Project leader Rose working with care home residents

A new Creative Ageing project with Wye Knot Forest School

29th April 2022

We’re delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new Creative Ageing project in collaboration with Wye Knot Forest School.

The Jubilee Care Home Project

The project is being delivered by Rose Sales for residents in two Hereford based care homes over a two-month period.

Each session will take the residents through a combination of Forest School and a series of movement and drama sessions. They will explore themes of the Queens Jubilee to stimulate conversation, memories, and wellbeing.

The project has come about thanks to funding from Hereford City Council. It aims to help alleviate isolation and increase wellbeing through group led sessions that are both fun and interactive.

This is one of the first known times this type of project has taken place. Upon completion, it will form part of a case study for the future of workshops run in care homes.

As well as the Wye Knot Forest School and arts elements, the workshops will also look at The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The sessions will stimulate conversations and memories amongst the residents of the last 70 years.

Residents will also be making things in their sessions to use in an end of project celebration party, to which they can invite family and friends.

A woman wearing a face mask helping ann elderly lady in a chair cut a wooden branch with loppers A woman helping an elderly lady in a pink jumper cut a slab of wood with loppers Hands holding a wooden stick and wrapping pink material around it

Forest School

Forest School is an initiative that focuses on nature-based learning, encouraging holistic development and growth from immersion in the outdoors. For this project, participants will be doing some gentle exercise, group work, activities that include the use of fine motor skills, memory games and one to one time.

One resident who took part in the Forest School activities said: “I’ve had a stroke and can only use one side of my body, knowing that I could cut the wood using the loppers with one hand made me feel like I had power again”

Hear from Rose

Rose says:

I’m very passionate about delivering different activities to the most disadvantaged people in our community. People shouldn’t be excluded from activities just because of their disabilities. I had the great idea to bring forest schools to them. It’s not been done before so I’m learning what works and what doesn’t as I go along. This project is able to happen thanks to The Courtyard and Hereford City Council.

The benefits of forest schools include: building self-esteem, making new friends, and having a sense of belonging. It also involves exercising, learning new skills and building resistance. This is why forest school is the perfect activity to use in community projects, especially with intergenerational workshops.

My experience so far has been very emotional. I knew it would have a positive impact, but I wasn’t expecting everyone that was involved to be so happy to try something different and get so much out of it.

One lady in her 90s was not interested at all at the start of the session. By the end she enjoyed it more than anyone else and thanked me with a tear in her eye and a huge smile on her face.

In one forest school session, I achieved group building, gentle exercising, the use of tools and building self-esteem. We also did activities that included the use of fine motor skills, memory games and we even had one to one time.

In the future when care/nursing homes can safely open up the community, Wye Knot Forest School aims to bring all ages together. This will help get people working together, sharing stories and memories.