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Grosvenor House care home

Rachel helps with a craft projectPestalozzi students take part in a variety of local community activities, including visits to care homes to share their cultures and promote international understanding. Pestalozzi students have now been visiting Grosvenor House care home in St Leonards for eight years. Grosvenor House Activities Coordinator Arnelda John reports.

Our association with Pestalozzi began when Lesley Shareif, a friend of mine who worked at Pestalozzi, arranged the first visit for half a dozen students. Initially they performed songs and dances from their own countries to entertain our 33 residents, but the programme has developed to include joint activities such as cooking, crafts, storytelling and laptop presentations.

As part of the Greensleeves Homes Trust, Grosvenor House has successfully introduced the Eden Alternative approach to elder care. This method emphasises true companionship, variety and spontaneity, and it has improved the quality of life for our residents as well as ensuring that Grosvenor House forges links with our local community.

Aldrin and Joan at Grosvenor HouseOur residents’ shared interests with Pestalozzi students, as well as a good dose of mutual curiosity, has led to real friendships. The students’ excellent English, good manners and ability to spontaneously engage with the older people has made them very welcome guests.

As one octogenarian put it, "I would like to say how nice it is to have students from Pestalozzi visit. They are polite youngsters and we always learn a little about each others' cultures.”

This article was originally published in the Pestalozzi Newsletter. Sign up to our mailing list to get our news straight to your inbox!