Church group rings in support for local Hica residents

From left to right bell ringer Avril Wood Kirkgate House manager Julie Wood  and bell ringer Trish Fozzard, seated residents Karl Osbourne , Margaret Melton, Michael Ellis.JPGA Bridlington church group put its bell ringing skills to good use by helping care home staff purchase extra learning equipment for residents.

The Priory Hand Bell Ringers have a close relationship with neighbouring Kirkgate House, a specialist home for those with learning difficulties. The group recently held a fayre to raise £350 for tablet computers, supporting a technology based development programme for residents.

The 12 members of the musical group spent time crafting handmade goods including jams, cakes and fancy goods to sell at the community fayre, which was held within the historic 900 year old Priory Church of St Mary.

Julie Wood, who has worked in management at Kirkgate House for almost 18 years said: “We have a very close relationship with both the Priory Church and the Priory Hand Bell Ringers. Our residents enjoy entertainment from the ladies and weekly coffee mornings at the church. We all really appreciate the effort that went into the fundraiser.

“We recently began buying tablet computers for the residents and it’s made a huge impact on learning and supporting activities. Residents often research their favourite recipes so they can cook for themselves, which they really enjoy. It also helps to build everyday skills.

“Thanks to the Priory Hand Bell Ringers we can now look forward to providing more resources for the residents and a fantastic level of extra support, which a lot of other homes can’t offer.”

As well as researching recipes, residents also use the devices to play educational games and for reading, encouraging different skills both independently and with the help of carers.

Kirkgate House, operated by The Hica Group, is managed by Julie Wood and 33 staff members, who take care of 28 residents aged between 18 and 91. The home encourages independent living with two apartments for those with less complex needs.

The Priory Hand Bell Ringers , who meet once a week for music practice at the Priory Church, also support the community through fundraising activities and visits to local organisations to perform bell ringing shows.  

Bell ringer Avril Wood, aged 80 and from Bridlington, said: “We really enjoy having such a good relationship with Kirkgate House and the residents there.

“After hearing about the initial success of the new learning programme, we wanted to do something extra so that they could buy more computers to support fun ways of learning new skills.”

In the photograph from left to right is  bell ringer Avril Wood, Kirkgate House manager Julie Wood  and bell ringer Trish Fozzard; Seated are residents Karl Osbourne , Margaret Melton and Michael Ellis

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