As part of our Community Outreach Programme in Transition Year we decided to take it upon ourselves with our teachers encouragement to donate and create shoe boxes for the Team Hope Shoe Box appeal 2015. We spread awareness throughout the school, hanging posters and making announcements to the classes. Everyone in Transition Year decided to donate some money to be put towards a group fund which would be used to buy contents for shoe boxes. We collected €60 and used this to buy as much of the essential needs making sure we included the 4 W’s: Wear, Wash, Write and Wow. Everyone enjoyed wrapping the boxes and making each box as special as possible for the children in need who would receive them as Christmas presents. We really hope that our boxes will make a difference to the children who get them and make their Christmas a little brighter.
Thank you to the AIB Build a Bank committee who donated €20 towards the delivery of the boxes to Romania and the Ukraine.
Community Outreach Module
As part of our transition year program we got to be involved in the community as part of our Community Outreach class. The best part of this was undeniably working at Waterman’s lodge. We got to learn a lot about dementia and its tributary diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease Vascular dementia and Fronto Temporal.
As part of our induction to Waterman’s lodge we received a talk from Christina about the work of Waterman’s lodge and we were enveloped with all the information we received. We learned that dementia is a term which describes as range of conditions which cause damage to our brain. This damage affects memory, thinking, language and our ability to perform everyday tasks. We also learnt briefly about the daily lives of those who suffer with dementia.
Some of the struggles which the clients face on a daily basis are as follows:
- Can’t differentiate between white floors and white walls as they think they are walking on water. Henceforth Waterman’s lodge have a red strip on the skirting to help them differ between the two.
- They have huge difficulty with their short term memory however they can clearly remember memories from over thirty years ago.
- In the later stages of the disease the patients find it difficult to do the most basic things in their lives. Things like getting dressed and washing themselves are mammoth tasks to them.
In Waterman’s Lodge we undertook a huge array of tasks to help aid the patient’s lives. We as a collective group learnt a lot from all the experiences. Some of the activities we participated in were as follows:
- Nail Art
- Talks to the clients
- IT & Social Media work.
- Outside Maintenance
- Arts & Crafts
- Card Games
I think it was clear to see that the students have had loads of fun participating with the group and not only learning about dementia and it’s umbrella diseases but also learning about the community and how supportive all the local enterprises are.
We are delighted with the overall experience and we have conquered our initial apprehensive feeling of nervousness and uncertainty. We as a group by participating in all the events learned more about Alzheimer’s in a practical and safe way and we have gained memories which will stay with us all a group forever. We are now stronger and more united as a class group.
Written by: Ben Kiely, Ashling Conlan and Keith McNamara