Students’ visitors’ booth helps to reunite families at local care home

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A team of City College Plymouth students and staff worked together to build and paint a new visitor pod for residents of a nearby care facility.

Residents of Abbeyfield House in Ivybridge can now safely enjoy visits from their loved ones thanks to the new visitors’ booth, which was delivered to the care home just in time for Christmas.

Staff at the College contacted Abbeyfield House in late October 2020 after they saw a similar project on social media. Carpentry students then began building the pods for Abbeyfield House and other care homes in their local community, which took them six weeks. Shortly after it was built, the painting and decorating students offered to decorate it.

Emma Hooper, Work Experience and Placement Officer at City College Plymouth, said: “We encourage our students to engage in meaningful experiences of the working world and to constantly develop their understanding of chosen industry areas. This includes providing opportunities for students to take part in projects that develop their technical skills and also support the local community, such as social action projects and volunteering. Our College team came across a visitors’ booth project on social media and we immediately thought this would be a fantastic project for our local community and students.

“Our health and social care department has an established relationship with Abbeyfield House, whose staff have very kindly supported our students with work placement opportunities. We felt that this was a perfect opportunity to build on this relationship and give something back. Both students and staff from our carpentry and also painting and decorating courses were involved in designing, building and decorating the visitors’ booth. It was most definitely a team effort for everyone involved.”

Emma added: “We feel very honoured and proud to have had the opportunity to take part in such a worthwhile project, and we have been really pleased to hear of how the booth has helped residents to see their loved ones. Rebecca and her team at Abbeyfield have been fantastic to work with every step of the way.”

One family member of a resident said: “Finding out the booth was ready for use was great news. It was so lovely to be able to see Mum again after such a long time.” Another family member said that the booth “will make such a difference to the residents! Thank you so very much”.

“We are so very grateful to City College Plymouth for supplying, designing, creating and decorating this amazing visitor booth for us at Abbeyfield Ivybridge,” said Rebecca Newton, Senior House Manager at Abbeyfield Ivybridge. “It surpassed all of our expectations and the entire team has been wonderful from start to finish.”

If you would like to find out more information about carpentry or painting and decorating courses at the College, or for details about other community projects, please e-mail [email protected].