Over the last year Mold Community Hospital and Ysgol Bryn Gwalia have worked hard to stay in touch in original ways to help patients and pupils stay connected through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The special friendship between the two has won a Community Project Award at the Mold Town Council Community Awards for their efforts to break down barriers, especially during the pandemic, as the children and patients can't mix together in person due to the risks of COVID-19.
Diane Sweeney, Activities Co-ordinator and Patient Experience Champion at Mold Community Hospital, said: “It was a real honour to go to the ceremony on behalf of the hospital, and we were really surprised to win the award, it was a tough category with well-established charities such as the local foodbank and Bailey Hill.
"I think they liked how we thought of original ways to forge this relationship during the pandemic and how we kept that connection going over the last year, for our patients and the school children. Before Covid we would have tried to get the pupils and patients together in person, but I think we’ve got that friendship now, so we’re looking forward to when we can mix together in the future.”
Diane got in touch with Lorraine Dalton, when she became the new Headteacher from Ysgol Bryn Gwalia, in Spring 2021, with the idea of connecting the patients with the pupils to share activities as well as their lives and experiences with each other.
Over the last year the school children of all ages have created pictures for the hospital, sang to the patients via Zoom, visited the hospital’s Christmas memory tree light switch on and sang Christmas carols outside.
Lorraine said: “We’ve been able to break down the barriers during the pandemic, as it’s easy to collaborate with a hospital when there’s no Covid, but I think when the pandemic started a lot of places just shut down and stopped doing things like this, it was hard to think of original ways on how to break the barrier down, but we worked together on how to forge this relationship.
“The children know now that the hospital is their community link. I think intergenerational coworking is so important, because from the child’s point of view they need to see that people in the community, no matter what age, can work together, and they actually have things in common and stories to tell. Also, it’s important for the older generation to be able to reflect back, talk about their experiences for their own health and wellbeing."
For the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee the children will be asking patients questions about their experience, and what they did for Queen’s coronation, and the school will then mirror that with games, food and clothes. The hospital has also made crowns, for the children to colour in and design, to give back to the patients to wear on the day.
The Community Project Award is described as a project or event that supports and benefits local people, and chosen by the Mayor for its extraordinary contribution to the Mold community and provides aspiration.
Former Mayor of Mold, Councillor Sarah Taylor, said: “This year Mold Town Council received over 200 nominations with 60 groups, businesses and individuals nominated. We often hear people say how difficult it is to pick the winners – but believe me it really was. I feel both proud and humbled to live and work in a town as caring and community minded as Mold.”