Balhousie Monkbarns help young workforce – and win an award into the bargain

As the summer holidays get into full swing, staff at Balhousie Monkbarns wanted to say a big thanks to Arbroath Academy. We teamed up with school pupils to do several activities together which were recently recognised in a set of Developing the Young Workforce awards.

Our staff members Shirley, Kirsty and Claire went to the Academy with a simulation suit, eye condition glasses and tremor gloves which simulate the effects Parkinson’s and dementia has on the body. The pupils were asked to do research on the different kinds of dementia prior to our visit.

We spoke to the pupils about our different roles within Monkbarns, Claire about her nursing background as well as being Care Home Manager, Kirsty about the importance of food and nutrition to people with dementia, and Shirley about her role as a carer before becoming an activity coordinator, as well as about how dementia affects care home residents in their day to day life and wellbeing.

The pupils then went to three different stations to try on the simulation suit, glasses and tremor gloves. The pupils were really engaged with a lot of questions. One pupil said ‘This is how my granny must feel’ and said it made her more aware of the condition. They all found it interesting and informative.

Arbroath Academy returned the gesture by cooking a range of bakery goods for their Home Economics curriculum, as well as performing a musical performance for their music curriculum for the residents at Monkbarns. The residents fairly enjoyed their visit and felt very privileged to be waited on and entertained by the Academy pupils.

Through this partnership, Shirley (activities coordinator), Kirsty (head cook) and Claire (Home Manager), along with Jessica and Gillian from the Academy were nominated for four award categories in the recent Two were were shortlisted to the last three, one for Champion and the other for a partnership between the two industries. We won the Partnership Award and a recognition for getting to the final three in the Champion category.

Well done Monkbarns and Arbroath Academy! We’re looking forward to another great year of community networking next school year.