Joint partnership to benefit students and care home

Blackburn College students will be supporting people living with dementia at EachStep Blackburn, after the two organisations signed a partnership agreement.

Students from a range of courses at the College will be supporting various areas at the site including care support, catering, and health and beauty at the £5m dementia care home run by national social care charity, Community Integrated Care.

The organisations have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the promises each organisation will fulfil and was signed by Blackburn College Principal, Dr Thomas Moore, and EachStep Blackburn’s Service Manager, Phil Benson.

EachStep Blackburn is a pioneering 64 bed facility, which opened in May 2016. The partnership will offer students a greater knowledge of the care sector, with opportunities to access industry and employability skills, as well as providing a talent pool for the care home.

The MOU includes a specifically tailored apprenticeship programme and leaders from the charity providing training to students. Students from health and social care will enjoy placements within the care home, catering students will support in the kitchens and tea room, and hair and beauty students will help in the on-site salon. In the near future, placements will be available for business and administration students and media and art students.

Photography - Nick Harrison

Photography – Nick Harrison

The new apprenticeship programme will help students to play a more influential and caring role in society, while promoting social cohesion. Guest speakers from EachStep Blackburn will also be invited to deliver lectures to Blackburn College students as part of the agreement.

Health and Social Care student Hajra Aya, 17, who started her three-month placement on the day of the signing, said the service offers valuable work experience for students.

“It’s absolutely awesome. It’s a really wonderful place and the whole organisation is really positive and welcoming. It’s lovely to talk to the residents and help to make them happy and comfortable.”

Speaking at the signing, Dr Thomas Moore said: “It’s a fantastic facility. We have a change in our demographic with a more senior population. EachStep Blackburn isn’t a hospital environment; it is a home for people living with dementia. It’s big, but small enough to retain that personal feel.

“I’m sure our students will learn a lot during their placements, and therefore invest a lot in their local community.”

EachStep Blackburn’s Service Manager, Phil Benson, said: “The partnership with Blackburn College is really exciting. We want EachStep Blackburn to be a real hub for the community, so the people we support can lead full and happy lives – welcoming students for a range of placements will help us to achieve this.

“It has been a privilege to meet the compassionate and passionate students from Blackburn College. We are committed to offering them enjoy great placements and experiences that will make a difference to people’s lives.”