Molly Turpie: International Hospitality Business Management Student, Lausanne, Switzerland
Posted: 29 April 2021
Molly Turpie is an alumna from AKS Lytham. She graduated in 2018 with A Levels in Maths, Geography and English. She is currently studying International Hospitality Business Management in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Molly was excited to represent AKS School at the 2016 International Conference hosted by Aiglon, Switzerland. She believes that it was this experience that gave her the courage to try something different. “I met all these different people. I just thought, if you want to take a year out, why not? if you want to do this, why not? And that brings me here to Switzerland.”
The 2016 RSIC was a celebration of Round Square’s 50th anniversary. The theme, ‘The Journey that Makes Us’ considered the adventure life presents to us and the growth, learning and personal development we undertake in our lifetimes.
After the conference Molly focused her thoughts back to Lytham. “Me and a few friends thought, like, ‘What can we do? What is the problem where we live?’.”
Molly goes on to explain that in her small coastal town there is a substantial elderly population, one that far outnumbers the teenage population. Between these two generations there was a level of distrust and fear that Molly and her friends felt uncomfortable with, but what to do? “How can we pull the community together a little bit? Everyone knows that teenagers are very scary and threatening…. But, of course, we’re not all like this.”
Loneliness and isolation amongst the elderly is a cause for concern. The Bring Me Sunshine project started small. Molly and her friends began visiting the elderly in care homes, creating relationships and building trust. The Coffee Mornings grew. The coffee mornings soon transformed into movie days with popcorn, Halloween parties with costumes, quiz afternoons, dance classes, pool noodle and balloon competitions….and the list goes on.
The whole school was unbelievably supportive.” As the depth of the relationships grew, so did the trust. “The most important thing is that it wasn’t like ‘we are teenagers’, and ‘you are the old people’. In fact, we sort of just forgot.”
“We gained a lot” reflects Molly. In some cases, students without grandparents made lasting friendships and found that they gained new grandparents. The Bring Me Sunshine Project has become a legacy project at the school, with AKS Lytham finding alternative ways to connect with vulnerable members in the community.
When asked to share her message to other students at Round Square schools about her own superpower. Molly talks about the power of positivity and optimism.
“I think I’m always positive. I really am not often negative, because I don’t think it helps with anything. Being pessimistic is never going to help you achieve anything.