Elderly residents in Leeds enjoy party

Young people from schools across Leeds held a party for residents at Yorkshire Housing’s Parkfield Court scheme.

The 10 teenagers organised the event on Monday, August 12, at the sheltered housing scheme in Seacroft as a part of their National Citizen Service (NCS).

Music and dancing, a quiz, games and party food drew many residents to the lounge and garden areas.

The youngsters, aged 16 and 17 and from schools including Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in Meanwood, visited Parkfield Court on successive Mondays.

An initial visit on July 29 saw them play monopoly among other things as part of getting to know the residents.

They discussed putting on a party for them on their return trip the following Monday, August 5.

And they raised £170 for the event by holding a sports day in Hyde Park with support from mentor Callum Pickersgill on Saturday, August 10.

Money left over from the celebration will be donated to the scheme’s residents’ committee, who organise activities including day trips and bingo.

Independent Living Officer Jane Lawson, pictured, who manages Parkfield Court, praised the young people.

She said: “When we opened the doors to them, they were raring to go, excited and have approached things with a level of enthusiasm that’s been marvellous to see.”

Parkfield Court, a modern complex off South Parkway in Seacroft, boasts 32 flats for the over-60s.

With three couples on the roster, Parkfield Court currently has 36 residents, some of whom still work, including as a bus driver and charity shop volunteers.

Music was a theme of the party, with hits from the 1960s, including by The Monkees, seeing residents dancing in the lounge.

But the star of the show was Darcy (pictured), a loveable one-year-old Dachshund puppy who was brought in by Yorkshire Housing neighbourhood officer Josi Marsh.

This is the third year Parkfield Court has welcomed young people from the NCS scheme, which was established in 2011.

Participants engage in outdoor and other activities, such as organising a project in their local community.

Jane added one of the benefits of the party was giving certain residents a timely boost.

She said: “One of our residents was feeling a little down because sadly it was the anniversary of his wife’s passing.

“I had a little word with him to remind him of the party and you could see the difference in him straight away. It gave him something to look forward to.”

Callum said they were also due to do a public awareness drive in Leeds city centre on Tuesday, August 13.

He explained: “We’re heading into town to talk to the public about loneliness and the elderly and what we’ve done and what they can do.”

The students promoted their message with banners, fancy dress and giveaways of sweets.

Callum said: “We’ve spent the last four weeks doing team building exercises and personal challenges and it’s all boiled down to this.

“Every day we appoint two people as project managers and it’s their job to ensure the day runs smoothly.

“At the end of each day, they have to review the day and reflect on what went well and what could be done differently.

“It’s a really reflective and hands-on experience for the participants that will be useful for them in the future.”​

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