Folkestone School for Girls SpeakOut group project
How did the young people come up with an idea for a Pay It Forward project?
For one of the SpeakOut sessions the group looked at Random Acts of Kindness and how they can support their own wellbeing and people around them. They decided they wanted to apply for a Pay It Forward grant to run a project which was an act of kindness for elderly people.
What was their idea for the project?
Homely Hampers – to create hampers filled with treats and drop them off at local elderly people’s homes and interact with the residents, to build bridges between groups that often do not mix.
The group decided to have a competition within school. Each form group made a hamper (30 hampers in total). They promoted the project in assemblies and through posters of ideas of what to include in the hampers.
The hampers were filled with homemade goods such as cushions, artwork, poems, letters, jams, chutneys, cookies, as well as blankets, wool, socks, tea and biscuits, games, puzzles, magazines, books and much more.
The group delivered the Hampers to 11 homes across Folkestone and Hythe.
What were the successes or challenges of the project?
Everyone loved the project. The young people said it was amazing and they would do it again any day.
A success of the project has been an invitation from the homes visited to continue the link which has been made between Folkestone School for Girls and the local homes.
One manager in particular stressed that projects like this which build links between old and young are so important. She said that their home would like to invite students from Folkestone School for Girls to visit the home and spend time with the residents on a more regular basis.
When asked if the group of girls would do anything differently, they said they would wish to spend more time in the homes with the residents. They would rather go to two or three homes in a day and spend longer with the residents.
Has the Pay It Forward project made a difference?
Yes. It was clear to see how much the residents valued having visitors and spending time with the girls. They lit up having a chat with the girls and seeing what had been put together in the hampers. It positively impacted the staff at the homes and the families of the residents who were there at the same time too.
It made a difference to the girls’ wellbeing; they thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days and want to spend more time doing projects like this. A project like this has boosted their confidence in speaking to people and spending time with older people.
The project also made them appreciate their own families and spending time with grandparents – they couldn’t wait to go home and tell their families about what they had been up to.
The project has also made a difference in terms of building lasting links with local care homes and Folkestone School for Girls.