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Two students from the University of Bradford, Gosia Drobniewska and Kerry Foster, have spent the last nine weeks holding baking and relaxation sessions with residents from the sheltered scheme at Charlotte Court in Bradford.

The pair usually attracted around 12 attendees to their eight various baking and relaxation sessions, which were designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents. Occupational therapy helps people to stay active and engaged in something they find enjoyable, it has been proven to contribute to improved health and wellbeing. The sessions also helped to combat social isolation by encouraging residents to mix more, stimulating conversation and introducing people who may have not spoken previously.

The project ran at a cost of just £81, provided by the community investment team and Gosia and Kerry were supported by independent living officer, Anna Walsh, who is based at Charlotte Court.

Anna said: “They did a great job, I was happy to support them to start the project and I’m delighted with what they achieved. We’ve had rave reviews from customers asking for more Baking Buddies sessions.”

Gosia Drobniewska said: “Despite some initial uncertainty as to our expectations as OT students, we managed to create a lot of interest and we had a number of regular attendees whose involvement increased from week to week. It was a rewarding experience to see the residents enjoy themselves.”

Kerry Forster added: “Some of the folks just preferred to observe and socialise, they appreciated getting some cake and listening to the music with friends. Those who decided not to bake still got involved by bringing along their favourite CDs to share while the group were together.”