Connecting over chat and cuppa

Published 7:00am 8 April 2023

Connecting over chat and cuppa
Words by Nick Crockford

Easter came early for retirement village residents and school students after building intergenerational friendships in the spending the year’s first term.

Residents at Bolton Clarke Inverpine retirement village and Undurba State School students have spent every Friday together as part of the program.

“The school thought it was such a great opportunity having the retirement village next door, so they reached out and it started from there,” Inverpine resident Joan Mcaloney said.

“It has worked out well because they came on the first day and just sat with us wanting to know more.

'Most caring'

“The girl I am paired with is the most caring and beautiful person, it’s been so lovely getting to know more about her!”

The program, led by Intergenerational Learning Australia, has paired 30 residents from the retirement village with 30 Year 5 students.

“My husband was in the Army and we moved every two years, so my kids had eight schools each,” Joan said.

“I was telling them all about how they made new friends and navigating that.

Connecting

“They were so intrigued because most people stay put, so that was interesting to share that story with them.”

Each week the group connect over a chat and a cup of tea or for this time of year, to decorate Easter hats for the school’s parade.

“A lot of the retirees here aren’t in contact with younger kids – they may not have children themselves or they just don’t see their grandchildren,” Joan said.

“I think it’s a learning experience for both the retirees and the kids.”

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