Dementia Friend pupils win Speaker’s award

St Joseph's RC Primary School pupils collect their prize in Parliament from the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson. (S)
St Joseph's RC Primary School pupils collect their prize in Parliament from the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson. (S)
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A Barnoldswick Primary School has won a national award for its innovative approach to dementia.

St Joseph’s RC Primary School has been awarded the Speaker’s School Council Award by John Bercow MP, a prize presented to celebrate the achievements of school council projects, and the impact they have on their schools and local communities.

Mr Bercow, Speaker in the House of Commons, awarded the West Close Road school the prize for children in the age eight to 11 category who became Dementia Friends.

Thirty pupils at St Joseph’s were the first and some of the youngest in Pendle to become Dementia Friends in November.

The aim of the project is to raise awareness about dementia and to assist those in the local community who suffer from it.

As well as attending an awareness session, pupils worked at Cravenside Home for Older People in Lower North Avenue, making pumpkins and working on the garden at the entrance of the home to make it more colourful.

Kathryn Henderson, St Joseph’s RC Primary School teacher, said: “This award truly recognises the dedication and all the fantastic work our children have given to the community and particularly to the care of the elderly suffering from dementia.

“The children have been equipped with life-long skills and an understanding that will teach them that society is made up of many different groups; each group is something we can learn from and appreciate.

“As a Catholic school, we live out our values of caring for one another and the children have shown this in so many ways, supporting, working alongside, learning and being active in the community.

“All the staff and parents are very proud of our children. We aim to inspire children and they inspire us equally.”

Andrew Stephenson MP said: “I am immensely proud of the work of St Joseph’s and their School Council.

“It was a pleasure to visit the school recently to present the children with Green Blue Peter badges for their environmental work and I am delighted they are now coming down to Parliament to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons.

“The children really are great role models getting stuck into projects across Barnoldswick, not just projects inside their own school.”