A Perthshire school has made a heartwarming intergenerational move and donated a set of tablet devices to Balhousie Pitlochry Care Home to help residents keep up regular contact with family and friends while the home is closed to non-essential visits.

Pitlochry High School, which has close links to the award-winning care home group, made the donation during the UK’s first National Intergenerational Week – which celebrates the bonds that can form across generations.

Gordon Mackenzie, a Modern Languages teacher at Pitlochry High School, saw an online post from the care home on ‘Pitlochry Now’, a local Facebook community group, appealing for any old electronic devices that residents could use to help keep in touch with loved ones. Aware of the close intergenerational links the care home has with the school, Gordon had an idea.

“From speaking with the pupils, I was aware that many of them have relatives in Balhousie Pitlochry Care Home and that they were unable to meet them in person right now because of the country’s Coronavirus situation,” said Gordon. “I found their tales very moving and tried to find out if there was anything the school could do to help.”

The Modern Languages department had some older tablet devices and, with most of today’s pupils having access to their own phones and tablets at home, these tablets were being used less-and-less. “I had been looking for something the tablets could be used for and, when I saw the Facebook post, I knew they could be used for exactly this purpose.”

When Balhousie Care Group closed its doors temporarily to non-essential visits to protect the health of residents, the company issued its 26 care homes with extra iPads to facilitate more communication between residents and their loved ones. But Gordon’s kindheartedness has meant there are lots of devices to go around, said the care home group.

Pitlochry High School is not the only people generously donating. Many other individuals have reached out to the home after seeing their Facebook post and the home now have 10 more laptops and tablets for residents to use.

Sandra Hutton, Home Manager at Balhousie Pitlochry Care Home, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of the local community at this very challenging time.  We would like to thank Mr Mackenzie from Pitlochry High School and all the others who have been so generous. Our residents will be calling their loved-ones more than ever with their access to all this technology.”