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Liverpool schoolchildren make bird tables to bring happiness to care home residents 

2 weeks ago

Liverpool schoolchildren make bird tables to bring happiness to care home residents 

Care home residents from Liverpool will be treated to afternoon tea at Sefton Park Palm House before being presented with specially-made bird tables from a city school.

The 50 elderly people from 10 local residential care homes have been invited to spend a couple of hours at the Grade II* Listed Victorian glass house on Wednesday, May 22.

And as well as enjoying beautifully-served sandwiches and cakes, they’ll be given the bird tables which have been made by design and technology students from The Academy of St Nicholas in Garston.

Kate Martinez, head of external relations for the Palm House, says:

“It’s all part of a National Lottery Heritage Fund community project launched a couple of years ago which has already seen new signage, a school offering, and an activity table for children here.

“The original idea was to create loan boxes which are filled with fascinating things and passed on from care home to care home, but when I started ringing around the care homes it became clear how important their gardens are to them, and we decided to it would be nice to give them bird tables to put in them instead.

“I talk every day about the importance of green spaces and how lucky we are in Liverpool, so if there are ways that we can help to enhance theirs and bring a bit of happiness by encouraging wildlife, then we’re delighted to be able to do that.”

“Initially I wrote brief for a local artist to design and make a first table, and I expected an artist or a joiner to respond. But I was blown away when Katie Bell, who’s head of design and technology at The Academy of St Nicholas, got in touch to say the school could take it on as a project, and it was so heartwarming.

“She spoke about how much it would mean to the children to be involved and what an opportunity it would give them, so they were the clear winner.”

Better still is that the bird tables have been designed by budding carpenter and Year 9 student Cody who designs and builds bird tables in his spare time with his grandad.

“When I saw the quality of the bird tables on a recent visit, I was overwhelmed,” smiles Kate. “Cody has taught his fellow pupils how to make them, which is lovely … and to say I’m delighted that such a simple idea has grown and flourished is an understatement.”

As well as building the bird tables, pupils in the academy’s art department have also painted gift boxes which they will fill with an RSPB bird book, bird seed and wildflower seeds to present to the care homes.

Sefton Park

“I knew that, as a school, we’d be able to fulfil the brief, and more,” says Katie Bell. “And I’m so pleased with how it’s developed. Our students are very excited to be designing and making the bird tables.

“They are really putting their all in and it’s wonderful to see how dedicated they are.”

Kate at Sefton Park Palm House says the idea of the bird tables has gone on to build a wonderful relationship between the school and the 10 care homes involved from the nearby area.

“At Christmas time the school invited the care homes in for a pensioners’ Christmas party and they cooked food for them and the music teacher put on a display for them to enjoy, and it was the best Christmas party I’ve ever been to. The joy in that room was unbelievable.

“Everyone was up dancing, there was such a good atmosphere, and the school has just embraced this.

“That was why we decided to invite people to an afternoon tea supplied by Blackburne House at the Palm House so those care homes residents could have a lovely time here and the pupils could get to give the bird boxes to them personally rather than them just being sent.

“This has been a very small part of a £232,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund project in terms of cost, but the joy and happiness it has brought is priceless.  That is really special.”

And Kate adds: “I think the connection now between The Academy of St Nicholas and the Palm House is one that will just grow and grow.”

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