A Bridgwater & Taunton College student studying health and social care has been so impressed by the dementia care home she teamed up with for her student placement she has applied to join them as a full-time employee.

Student Madi Davis has spent 137 hours at the town’s Avalon Nursing Home since she started her studies in 2022, working as one of a cohort of placement students who regularly visit the home.

According to Avalon’s activities co-ordinator, Lisa Priddice, there are beneficial outcomes for both the home’s residents and the students as a result of their relationship.

Lisa said: “The placement students are given an insight into what working in the care sector is really like, with all its rewards and challenges.

“They have opportunities to ask questions and learn about different departments, and can also learn about different mental and physical conditions and needs.

“We believe community involvement is really important and we work hard on strengthening the connections between the younger and older generations.

“Obviously our residents also benefit in many ways: they enjoy having a young person to chat with, and spending time doing one-to-one activities with them, and they love sharing their own life experiences with them.

“As soon as the students arrive, the room starts buzzing with conversation and there will be lots of different activities going on.

“The placement students we have hosted are a real credit to their mentors and to the College, and we have thoroughly enjoyed having them with us: they have been a great asset to the Avalon team.”

Bridgwater & Taunton College’s work placement co-ordinator, Vicky Jennings, said: “It can sometimes be unexpectedly difficult to find student placements because, although there are benefits in both directions, hosting them does require a degree of dedication on the part of the organisations concerned.

“The staff at Avalon are always very accommodating though, and our students consistently feedback how much they gain from the time they spend working there.”

Placement student Kaiden Porter said: “I feel like the staff at Avalon try their best all the time for the care of the residents.”

And Madi Davis said: “I had very much enjoyed my time at Avalon during my placement, the residents and staff were very friendly and welcoming and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Details about the health and social care programmes at Bridgwater & Taunton College are available here:

Avalon Nursing Home is run by specialist dementia care providers Camelot Care who also have homes in Plymouth, Wellington and Yeovil