Local lad leaves long-lasting impression on Richmond's Care Services

Release Date: 28/02/2017

Richmond’s Older People Champion has lavished praise upon a 16 year old local schoolboy who raised the highest donation ever received at a centre for people with dementia.

There was no job too big or small for Faris Nasr when he undertook a stellar student work placement at the Woodville Centre in Ham during Christmas. The Grey Court School Year 11 pupil rolled up his sleeves and was at the heart of activities created for centre users. He played word games, endeared himself to staff and capped off his memorable work placement by raising a massive £1,675 through a Christmas Jumper charitable event which he single-handedly organised.

Faris remains in close contact with centre users and staff, regularly visits the centre and was cheered by all when the money was recently presented to clients and staff. Richmond’s Older People Champion, Cllr Brian Marcel, was so impressed with the plucky young person that he wrote him a letter to personally thank Faris which was sent to the school’s head teacher this week.

Cllr Brian Marcel said:

“What Faris achieved in such a short period of time at the Woodville Centre was quite simply astonishing. He is a young man who left a massive impression with service users and their families at the centre as well as staff and Richmond Council’s Adults’ Services. We all wish Faris the best in his future endeavours and would like to take this opportunity to thank him once more for everything that he has done, and continues to do, for everyone at the Woodville Centre.”

Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, Cllr David Marlow, said:

“The work experience placements at the Woodville Centre are extremely important. They provide young people with an opportunity to meet older residents and these interactions are important for their future studies and careers.”

Faris added:

“When I first arrived I was given the fantastic opportunity to communicate with the people who live at the day care centre and get to know them better. Part of the reason behind the work experience placement was to learn how to get on with the clients and make them feel comfortable.

“The clients have amazing stories and some of them would share with me snippets from their lives as we walked around the sensory garden. Many of them don’t really have that many people to talk to so this is important for them – and what they said inspired me to keep working hard and do as much as I can possibly can. I decided to volunteer at the Woodville Centre to improve my communication skills with elderly people and gain work experience for my future career and I got a lot from this placement.”

The Woodville Centre focuses on sensory stimulation and combines services to help individuals stay independent in a safe and friendly environment. The centre is designed to support people who need specialist care and support and can offer a welcome break for their carers. People are encouraged to move around freely and enjoy all of the facilities available and take part in group activities. The centre offers a comfortable and relaxing setting with domestic pets adding to the homely atmosphere. Carers and families regularly take part in special events such as music concerts and attend meetings with carers and staff at the centre.”

Updated: 28 February 2017