North East Connected

Volunteer helps Teesside elderly in memory of grandad

VOLUNTEER Nathaniel Besterfield has been helping the elderly in Teesside in memory of his late grandad.

Nathaniel took part in a social action project at Mandale House Care Home with the Safe in Tees Valley (SITV) National Citizenship Service (NCS).

He was one of several 15-to-17-year-olds spending time at the Thornaby care home as part of a project to revamp the home’s garden.

He came up with the idea to raise funds and carry out the work after his grandad passed away shortly before the project began.

Nathaniel, aged 18, said: “My grandad was a soldier and served his country and many of the residents who live at Mandale House did the same.

“I wanted to give something back in honour of his memory.”

The NCS group from SITV, an independent community safety partnership, spent a week at Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road, Thornaby.

The groups raised £110 from a sponsored walk for the project, with the funds matched by SITV team leaders following a Dragon’s Den style pitch.

Girisha Gosain, SITV team leader, said: “This is one of the nicest groups I’ve worked with. They push themselves to achieve their goals and support one another in everything.

“It’s been wonderful to see them put so much effort into improving the environment and garden at Mandale House.”

One of the volunteers, Khalil Rehman, 15, borrowed a jet washer from his family and between the group they cleaned the home’s garden furniture and decking.

They also sanded, varnished and painted the chairs, benches, decking and railings. A small mural of a finch was also painted on one of the walls as a gift from a member of the group.

Alongside materials for the garden work, the funds were used to buy presents for the residents, including flowers, cushions and picture frames, as well as help with preparations for the home’s summer fayre.

The home’s residents enjoyed watching the NCS group work, with former painter and decorator Peter Wilson, 83, offering advice when needed.

Sarah Robinson, activities coordinator at Mandale House Care Home, said: “The group has been fantastic. While some were jet washing and painting, others were spending time with our residents, playing games and reading.

“The girls held a pamper session for lots of the ladies, giving them hand massages and painting their nails.”

Louise Hawksby, home manager, added: “We’d like to say a big thank you to the Safe in Tees Valley team and the NCS groups for thinking of our home and residents for their social action project.

“The residents have thoroughly enjoyed their company and they have done a brilliant job in our garden – especially considering they carried out the work during one of the hottest weeks of the year.”

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