Student Josh Halewood has been giving up his free time to make life a little brighter for nursing home residents after doing work experience there.
The 18-year-old Level 2 Esports student at St Vincent College, Gosport, enjoyed the work experience so much he has been volunteering at Tudor Lodge in Fareham since the summer, even going in on his birthday weekend.
Tutor Kirsty Bailey said the youngster, who lives in Stubbington, made friends with many of the staff and residents on his work experience and wanted to continue going in after it ended. “He has been volunteering there every weekend, putting a smile on the residents faces and putting something back into his local community,” she said.
“He knows all of the residents by name now and really has empathy with them. He enjoys building a connection and trust with them and has even won the bingo a few times.”
The home’s wellbeing co-ordinator Jannette Broxton said she knew Josh was a natural with residents as soon as he started his work experience. “I saw the potential in him straight away,” she said. “He’s very nurturing and he’s just such a lovely young lad.
“We paired him with Paige Duffin, a younger member of the staff who organises our activities on a Saturday, and he helps her call the bingo and the residents to check their cards. The residents absolutely love him, they say he always chats and tries to help however he can.”
Josh said he enjoys his weekly visits. “The staff are lovely and I get on with them as well as the residents,” he said. “I hope this is seen as a good example for the college because it shows that volunteering isn’t bad, and you get to see what the working world involves.”
Mrs Bailey added: “I am so very proud of Josh and the challenges and barriers he has overcome to do this. He has gained valuable experience, is loved by the residents and has become a valuable and well liked member of their team.”