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Jazz My Zimmer Collaboration

By Clair Hill - March 18th, 2024 | Posted in Article

Carew Academy Sixth Form students have been working with pupils from St Philip’s School and residents of a local care home to photograph and record a project called ‘Jazz My Zimmer’.

‘Jazz My Zimmer’ is an idea first publicised on the BBC website in 2017 where Care Home residents in Wales collaborated with local children to decorate their Zimmer frames and walking sticks.

BBC Web story

It can be difficult for adults with dementia to recognise their own walking aids so therefore decorating them acts as an important remembering aid.  Ironically, walking aids can also be a tripping hazard and one care home who has taken part in the projects claims that it has reduced falls by up to 60%.

Taking our lead from this project pupils from the primary department at St Philip’s School visited Amy Woodgate House to decorate their zimmer frames. Led by community artist Louise Pasquill, the pupils visited the care home twice. On the first occasion pupils met and interviewed the elderly residents taking part to ensure that the walking aids were customised to the individual, serving as a unique reflection of each person’s personality, interests, and history.

On the second visit Louise had sourced a variety of materials that could be used and demonstrated different tying techniques.  Using these techniques the pupils decorated the zimmer frames and walking sticks working closely with the elderly residents.  It was wonderful to see the interactions and exchanges between the elderly and younger individuals.

For the second visit Carew Academy students of Photography (GCSE and A-Level) had a chance to use their skills in a real life event and photograph the project. Students had a chance to work in photo journalism style as well as to use their own personal artistic approach to photography. These photos will be exhibited in May at the King’s Centre in Chessington and we hope will inspire others in the area to develop intergenerational activities.

Below if one of the photographs taken by Ronnie, one of the A Level students – isn’t it beautiful!

Photo by Ronny B