Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, visited Aigburth care home in Leicestershire on 28th September. She came to meet the residents and to help them celebrate the new skills they have been learning each week, including how to use a Nintendo Wii.
Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A), a local social enterprise, gives residents the opportunity to learn things, have new experiences and to take up old hobbies again. L4A and Aigburth have been working together for over two years now and residents have been involved in music, Nintendo Wii and watercolours lessons, amongst other things.
Irene Branston, aged 90 years young, has been learning to use a computer to email family and friends in Scotland and to Skype with other care home residents. She says "It's marvellous to be able to stay in touch so easily!"
Faye Lee paints, sketches and draws for two hours every Tuesday and only took up art after moving in to Aigburth. Learning for the Fourth Age, learning mentor, Dominic Palmer, visits her every week to support her to understand, develop and enhance her art skills. He says "It is great to work with the same residents each week and to watch how they progress and learn."
Local social enterprise, L4A, has been working with care homes for almost three years, supporting staff and residents alike and is hoping to expand.
L4A has a network of fully trained mentors that provide one to one education and learning activities to care home residents in Leicester and Leeds. The activities are designed to provide mental stimulation for residents and delay the onset or progression of dementia.
Melissa March, Company Co-founder and Director at L4A said:
"Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, is taking an interest in L4A as part of her ongoing work as patron of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), which is based here in Leicester. We're really proud of what all of our residents have achieved and today is a celebration of how hard Aigburth work not only to provide care and meals but to provide stimulating activities and learning for their residents."
L4A wants to expand and to continue making a similar impact in other care homes across Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield. More than twenty care homes have subscribed to L4A's services, all of which have found it of great help as the learning mentors provide a high level of support in terms of education and personalisation.
For more information or to enquire about getting involved with L4A visit: www.l4a.org.uk or call Melissa March on 07545 842 315 for more information