Connecting generations with social media and biscuits!Wednesday, 12 April, 2017
Students from Bath Business School at Bath Spa University have launched a social enterprise to bridge the gap between the elderly in the community and students.
The aim of the initiative is to avoid social isolation of the elderly in care homes, hospitals and at home by promoting new technologies to them to help them stay in touch with loved ones.
Final year students Samuel Garside, Daisy Shevlin, Alexander Decker, Charlotte Hall and Jordan McNamara set up the enterprise as a part of a module for their Business and Management course at Bath Spa University.
They visited Stratton House Care Home in Bath where they met with residents and showed them how to connect with family members overseas through social media and Skype. They helped to connect several residents in their nineties with family members they had not seen in decades, and even helped one resident see his son’s house in New Zealand on Google Maps.
As well as tackling loneliness, the students showed the residents how to keep themselves mentally active by showing them the breadth of games and activities available to them online. They also shared stories with those in the care home over copious cups of tea and plenty of biscuits.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, visited the students at the care home and was impressed by their dedication to helping the elderly.
He said: "Care in the community, even in beautiful, predominately rural constituencies such as mine, is of immense importance, and will only continue to see higher demand as our population ages.
“The willingness and enthusiasm of the students whom I met today to create bridges and programmes to connect generations is an immense power for good.
“This has been one of the most enlightening visits I've had the pleasure of making this year. I intend to give them every support and encouragement wherever I am able, and I really would like to help them achieve their aims of getting this rolled out across the whole of the UK."
The Bath Business School students intend to develop a similar programme which can be rolled out across all universities in the UK.