A chance message from the events coordinator, Elaine, at Amberley Hall Care Home in King’s Lynn led to one of the most heart warming and proudest moments I have enjoyed with our Beaver Colony from the 12th Kings Lynn Scout Group.
My post on our closed Facebook page to our Beaver parents that evening read; “12th King’s Lynn Beaver Scouts my heart is bursting with pride right now! You were all so polite, caring and kind to all our new friends at Amberley Care Home this evening. The staff saw some residents smile, laugh and talk to the children who wouldn’t usually engage with activities. A very special evening!”
We arranged with Elaine to visit the residents and suggested we could take along some rocks for the Beaver Scouts to decorate with the residents. We thought the residents would also like to ‘follow’ the travels of the rocks on social media as they have their own Facebook page too.
The Beavers would also complete their stage one navigator badge the following week when hiding the rocks during a torch lit hike.
We went along on the evening armed with sharpie pens and rocks, not knowing quite how the evening would go. We were greeted by Elaine and welcomed into the communal area where the residents had been invited to join us for the evening if they would like to.
As the residents joined us the Beavers were given two rocks each to begin; one for themselves and one for their new friend. The Beavers introduced themselves and asked if the residents would like to join them drawing on the rocks.
The Beavers enjoyed talking to the residents about the badges they had earned and their time in Scouting. Some of the residents shared their own Scouting memories.
The majority of the residents who joined us have dementia; the children were patient, kind and thoughtful all evening.
One of the Beavers was concerned that her new friend could not speak. With reassurance the little girl continued to chat away to the lady for a while and helped her to use the pen and make marks on a rock. Before long they were both talking to each other.
One of the residents asked if the children would sing to them. Two of the Beavers sung a beautiful rendition of ‘Its a kind of magic’ by Queen and then we all sang ‘The Beaver Song’. The Beavers were then treated to a song by one of the residents too.
I asked Elaine her thoughts on our visit with the Beaver Scouts; “It is beneficial to our residents as they absolutely love all children visiting. It lifts their mood and they really look forward to it. Research shows it lifts mood, combats depression and loneliness.
It improves cognition, social and language skills and even mobility. We have seen this for ourselves, it’s amazing. It is also excellent for reminiscence therapy as the residents may have been a brownie or a cub, their children or grandchildren may have been and they remember and talk about this.
It is beneficial to the youngsters in that they get to talk and interact with the older generation. Those with disabilities and dementia.
It breaks down barriers, stigma, stops prejudice and being judgemental. It is amazing to see and the Beavers behavior was exemplary and they are a credit to you and you should be rightly proud. Can’t wait till they visit again”.
I would highly recommend to any other group to get in contact with their local care homes or residential settings, find out how you can make a difference to the lives of other people in your community.
We are enjoying seeing our rocks being found on the Norfolk Rocks (UK) Facebook page and are looking forward to going back to see our new friends very soon!
Tracey Clark BSL – 12th Kings Lynn Scout Group