Better Learners Better Workers Culture & Arts Programme with Sanctuary Housing

Made in Sheffield Ambassadors delight residents and staff at a Shiregreen care home.

Residents at Sanctuary Care’s Park View Residential Care Home in Sicey Avenue were treated to a performance on Tuesday 8th March by Culture and Arts Ambassadors on the latest Better Learners Better Workers programme.

The Year 9 students from Firth Park Academy had prepared a mix of dances, songs and sketches, ending by leading a combined sing-song of the Beatles classic ‘I want to hold your hand’. Residents thoroughly enjoyed the performance and showed their appreciation with a big round of applause.

The performance followed four weeks of visits by the teenagers to chat with the residents whilst running activities. The lively schedule included decorating buns, making Easter cards and producing name badges.

Holly, Year 9, said, “We didn’t know what to expect. We’ve enjoyed it here; it’s been great meeting new people.”

Sean, Year 9, agreed: “We have learnt a lot about speaking to people and how to be patient.”

Firth Park Academy’s Cultural Ambassadors programme is part-funded by Sanctuary Housing. Sanctuary’s Neighbourhood Partnerships Manager for Shiregreen, Melanie King, commented: “This project brought all age groups together to enjoy this special event. The students have also developed important communication skills valuable for future education and employment opportunities.”

Sarah Robinson, the Director of Learning in Performance at Firth Park Academy, is enthusiastic about the benefits for the students: “Talking to the elderly residents, particularly those living with dementia, was a new experience for the students but they have loved it. They have visibly adapted and developed as the weeks have gone by.”

The Better Learners Better Workers Culture and Arts Programme includes a broad range of experiences provided by different partners. Working with Sheffield Theatres, students have visited the theatre, seen a production, discussed marketing and taken on the challenge of how to get more young people interested in theatre. Team building with Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and curating part of a display for Museums Sheffield are also part of the schedule, facilitated by specialist arts company Ignite Imaginations.

“The Better Learners Better Workers Culture and Arts programme is a very valuable opportunity for the students. It improves their self-esteem and helps them to flourish in a different environment to school. It brings out talents they enjoy outside of academic studies. For example, they have been organising themselves, setting out meeting schedules and preparing for activities in their own time.”

Better Learners Better Workers