PUPILS from three Island primary schools have brought joy to older residents in care homes through their continued creative content and interactions.

St Blasius Academy in Shanklin, Lanesend Primary School, Cowes, and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School in Newport, participated with a project delivered by local charity Independent Arts.

Funded by the National Lottery, the School Ties project saw ten children from reception and year 1 of each school spend pre-lockdown Friday mornings having their lessons alongside ten residents in three care homes.

Project delivery lead, Jo Rigby, said: “The mutual support between children and residents as they worked and learned together through song and craft, stories and gardening was really moving with lasting friendships between the homes and schools.

"When the pandemic began to bite, we knew how lonely residents would be without visits from friends and families and the schools were keen to help. 

"We achieved one of the key aims of our lottery funding which is to strengthen communities.”

Isle of Wight County Press: A creative work sent to the Limes residential home in BembridgeA creative work sent to the Limes residential home in Bembridge

With Covid restrictions announced, the schools improvised to continue offering their support.

This included Christmas carol singing, pen pal letter exchanges, pop-up indoor art galleries, and artwork and letters from the schools’ pupils to the residents displayed in the homes. 

A spokesperson for one of the care homes, Brighstone Grange, said: “Thank you so much for the exhibition board, the children’s contributions are so lovely and our residents have really appreciated the artwork and the letters.”