Bell ringers’ fayre effort to help residents

From left: bell ringer Avril Wood, Kirkgate House manager Julie Wood  and bell ringer Trish Fozzard, seated residents Karl Osbourne, Margaret Melton, Michael Ellis

From left: bell ringer Avril Wood, Kirkgate House manager Julie Wood and bell ringer Trish Fozzard, seated residents Karl Osbourne, Margaret Melton, Michael Ellis

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A Bridlington church group put its bell ringing skills to good use by helping care home staff buy 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 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 hand-made 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.

She said: “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.”

The Hica Group is a not for profit organisation, which operates a portfolio of 20 residential care homes, five of which are for people with a learning disability, along with two retirement villages.

The Hull-based company also runs a home care service providing approximately 11,500 hours of support and care from four regional offices in the North of England.