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Generations unite to celebrate Platinum Jubilee

Generations old and young have been united in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the appropriately named Queensway Court – an extra care scheme in Leamington Spa.

Left to right (top row) Deborah Harris, Activities Coordinator for Orbit and Janet Barnett High Level Teaching Assistant at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School (bottom row) Oskar Krupiczowicz, Head Boy St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Jean Dooley, resident at Queensway Court and Maya Hundal, Head Girl St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School

Older residents at the Orbit managed scheme were joined by 30 children from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School to participate in royal-themed activities including decorating cupcakes, making paper crowns and singing the national anthem.

Although the scheme has a long-standing relationship with the school, this was the first time since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions that children have been able to visit residents in person. During lockdown pupils drew virtual hugs that were delivered to residents and they still call into the scheme every Wednesday via Zoom to read to residents and share with them what they’re learning about at school.

Deborah Harris Activities Coordinator for Orbit said: “We really value our connection with St Patrick’s School and the relationships that our residents can build with the children. Both generations get such a lot out of spending time together and sharing their different experiences and outlooks on life. For me, that’s what the Jubilee celebrations should be about – bringing together everyone in the community for this special occasion. The residents have really enjoyed celebrating with the children and sharing their stories and memories.”

Queensway Court is an extra care housing scheme specially designed for people aged over 55. Residents have the independence of their own apartments, with the opportunity to socialise and get involved with the community if they wish. Extra care and support are available to them should their needs and requirements change over time.

Resident Eileen commented: “Having the children here has been wonderful. It reminds me of when my children were young. I hope they can visit again soon.”

Pupil Paigely added: “It’s been really fun, especially with the cakes!”

Janet Barnett High Level Teaching Assistant at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School added: “Our children don’t always have extended families and regular contact with grandparents or other older people and I think it’s so important to create opportunities where generations can socialise and share their viewpoints. I think it’s brilliant that Orbit have trusted us to get involved with Queensway Court and I love watching the interactions between them and the children – it’s invaluable on both sides.”