Students put on a vintage party for people with dementia

A team of postgraduate students from School of Management has organised a vintage Christmas tea party for local people with dementia to bring back memories of Christmas past, at Alzheimer’s Society’s Pinelea Day Centre in Midsomer Norton.

The team of seven master students was taking part in the Zurich Community Challenge – they had five weeks to plan, fund and organise the party, with support from the University and a mentor from Zurich, a corporate partner of the School.

The students organised a nostalgic afternoon for Alzheimer’s Society day centre clients with a ‘pop-up’ cinema to play classic movies, Christmas crafts and games.

Saskia Duch (right) and fellow Zurich Challenge team mates

Saskia Duch, from the student team, said: “We had so much fun at the event and we all walked out with the biggest smiles on our faces. The clients had great stories to tell, they relished our company and loved our different cultural backgrounds. We learned so much that day and are grateful for the help offered by all the staff working their magic in the background. It really spread Christmas cheer and that was our goal. We’re proud that we’ve been able to donate the laptop to the centre to enjoy more films in the future.”

The students were assigned to the Alzheimer’s Society project by Bath’s Volunteer Centre.

Lucie Fowler Alzheimer’s Society volunteering officer said: “The students from the University of Bath excelled themselves organising the Christmas tea party. The activities they planned engaged everyone in attendance. It was a pleasure to welcome the students to Pinelea.

“I would like to thank the University of Bath, Zurich Community Trust and the wonderful group of students who brought lots of festive cheer to both people with dementia and their carers.”

This year 104 postgraduate students took part in the Zurich Community Challenge, coordinated by Gemma Ker-Bridges, Student Experience Officer in the School of Management. The Challenge is a collaboration between Zurich, the School of Management, the Students’ Union, the Volunteer Centre in Bath, plus local charities and organisations.

Student teams have also worked on projects to support the Bath Foodbank, create new facilities at Bath Opportunity Pre-School and fundraise for local charities.

Anna Boneham from the University’s Students’ Union’s Volunteer Office added: “I am amazed at how well the students deliver these projects in such a short space of time. Their leadership, teamwork and project management skills are really tested but they manage to complete their challenges, with many going above and beyond what they have been asked to do. I also want to say a massive thankyou to the charities that get involved and the support they give to the students.”

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