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Crafty youngsters bridge the generation gap

St Mary's school pupils, Wrexham raise money for Hillbury residents from selling and making bracelets ; Picture Mandy Jones

SIX crafty primary school pupils have been making colourful bracelets to celebrate their friendship with the residents of two care homes.

The youngsters from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wrexham have been bridging the generations with regular visits to Pendine Park’s Hillbury and Gwern Alyn homes.

It’s a chance for pupils to integrate with the elderly residents, joining them in a range of social activities, crafts and music sessions or simply chatting and making friends.

St Mary’s school pupils, Wrexham raise money for Hillbury residents from selling and making bracelets ; Pictured Pendine care practitioner Catrin Williams with pupils (From Left) Evie, Alexandra, Ella, Snoor, Ivie and Matilda. Picture Mandy Jones

This year a group of pupils came up with the idea of doing a fundraising activity for the homes.

They raised £100 by selling the bracelets and the proceeds will be used to buy bird boxes for the extensive gardens at the two homes which are next door to each other.

The pupils were inspired after hearing from their teacher, Ruth Edwards, about a previous fundraiser run by school pupils.

Ruth explained: “I was telling them how my daughter and her friends used to visit Hillbury as part of a similar outreach scheme to the one we run between St Mary’s and Pendine Park.

“My daughter was older at the time and went to Ysgol Bodhyfryd. She and her friends organised a sponsored tap dance and raised some money for garden furniture.”

One of those pupils, Catrin Williams, 17, went on to secure a job at Hillbury and she remains a friend of Ruth’s daughter, Alys Edwards.

St Mary’s school pupils, Wrexham raise money for Hillbury residents from selling and making bracelets ; Pictured Hillbury resident Ann Evans with pupils Matilda, Ella and Evie. Picture Mandy Jones

Catrin said: “I loved coming here as a schoolgirl. It really helped me make up my mind about what I wanted to do as a career and come into the social care sector. I have worked here three months now and it is my dream job, I love it.”

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She added: “It is so good to see the St Mary’s pupils helping out like we used to do and getting to know the residents. The girls should be proud of themselves coming up with the idea for making the bracelets.”

Ruth Edwards said: “I think our pupils were inspired by the story of how Catrin and Alys and their friends did the sponsored tap dance and so decided they wanted to do something equally positive themselves.”

The hard-working group hit on the idea of making bracelets using elasticated thread using clay beads which they bought in bulk online, then sold to friends, family and on a stall during a fun picnic fair at the school.

The pupil who came up with the idea for the bracelets, six year old Ivy, said triumphantly: “We sold 81 bracelets at the picnic fair, plus lots more to friends and people we know. We did different sizes and different colours and sold them at 50p, £1 and £1.50.”

Ivy’s school pal, Alexandra, suggested donating the profits to Hillbury and when the sales started to take off it was eventually decided to share the profits between Hillbury care home and the Shooting Stars cancer support charity at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Alexandra said: “We have sold £200 worth of bracelets so far, which we divided between the two organisations. We work on them in our spare time, during school break and lunchtimes, plus whenever we can get together. We all enjoy doing it, especially for such a good cause.”

Cindy Clutton, the manager of both Hillbury and Gwern Alyn, is herself the proud owner of one of the bracelets.

She said: “The girls have done really well. It was so innovative of them to think of this and to do it in aid of Hillbury was a lovely thought. Several of our staff have bought bracelets. Whenever I wear mine it makes me smile and think of how much work the girls have put in for us.”

St Mary’s school pupils, Wrexham raise money for Hillbury residents from selling and making bracelets ; Residents Irene Bishop and Joan Reed with pupils Matilda, Alexandra, Snoor, Ivie, Evie and Ella. Picture Mandy Jones

Hillbury deputy manager Patsy Swift added that the St Mary’s pupils are always welcome visitors to the care home.

She said: “Our residents love to see them and hear about what they have been getting up to in school and how their lessons are going.”

Resident Josephine Price said she was really impressed with the quality of the bracelets.

She said: “They are so colourful and cheerful. I am not surprised they have been selling well. Anyone would be pleased to have one.”

Fellow resident Ann Evans, added that the girls had done really well to produce so many: “They all deserve a pat on the back for the work they have put in.”