Pupils enthralled by 92 year old’s life story

May 9, 2019

Pupils from Seaford Head Lower School experienced a ‘Living History’ lesson, with a talk from our resident, Verna Rose, 92.

During her talk to the Lower School, pupils aged 11-16 heard about Verna’s childhood in Canada and the impact that World War 2 had on her and her brother. Verna moved to the UK in her 20’s and taught at a primary school in Brixton, where she was the instigator of teaching French to younger children. Despite now having dementia, Verna still retains much of her long-term memory and was delighted to answer the many questions that the pupils had.


Clifden House resident Verna Rose, 92, with her niece from Canada Val Strawson

Clifden House resident Verna Rose, 92, with her niece from Canada Val Strawson

Reflecting upon Verna Rose’s talk, Clifden House activities coordinator, Deena McCormack, said: “This project really embodies our ethos here at Clifden House. A mainstay of our delivery of care lies in promoting a fulfilled life. We aim to ensure that every resident is able to engage as much as they desire with the world around them, both within and outside the home. It was a joy to see Verna access memories that she may not have otherwise revisited and pass them on to pupils in the local community.”

Verna Rose said: “I really enjoyed the experience and was impressed with the children’s interest and well thought out questions. Thank you to everyone for a most enjoyable day.”
Min Stone, ESCC Locality Link Worker for Seaford said: “As part of my role, I spend a lot of time with voluntary and community groups building links and connections. By facilitating people like Verna, a resident of Clifden House dementia care centre, with the opportunity to pass on her stories to local pupils, we are helping to bring two generations together, ensure that first-hand accounts of past events live on, and empowering the older generation by giving them a voice too. We are working across the county in order to strengthen community resilience. This living history event was also generously supported by the Lions Club, Seaford Rotary and Martello Rotary – so we extend our gratitude to them too.”

This Living History project was supported by the Personal and Community Resilience programme from East Sussex County Council’s Public Health Department. It recognises the strengths of people and communities and how they can be utilised and built upon. All areas of East Sussex are covered by dedicated Locality Link Workers, liaising with frontline health and social care professionals to better access community-based support for their clients.