September 2018

St Patrick's Green Awarded Grant for Grandfriends Project

Tanya Davies, the NSW Government’s Minister for Ageing, has awarded St Patrick’s Green a grant for our Grandfriends Project.  The Project focuses on building inter-generational friendships between our Aged Care Home residents and kids from the local pre-school. Each week the kids visit our Kogarah village for morning tea and an activity which our residents help to organise. Not only does this provide a fun opportunity for the pre-schoolers to socialise with the elderly people in our community, but it also provides our residents with joy and a sense of purpose. 

The Aged Care residents at St Patrick’s Green often look forward to the day when the kids come to visit. Residents enjoy sharing their knowledge and stories with the children, playing games with them, or helping them with crafts. We are lucky to have a lot of creatives in our Kogarah Aged Care Home, so we have seen residents create drawings for the kids to colour in, as well as homemade Australian animal badges being made for each of the children to wear home. The Project has been a heart-warming experience for everyone involved, including the St Patrick’s Green team who enjoy watching these inter-generational friendships blossom.   
 
Working at the same time with young children and seniors presents unique developmental and generational challenges, as well as opportunities. For instance, how many 5-year-olds can tell you what it is like riding a donkey to school, and how many 80-year-olds were operating a computer before they even started primary school? 
 
Lisa Norwood, our Lifestyle Team Leader at St Patrick’s Green, launched the Grandfriends Project in February this year. ‘Inter-generational friendships have powerful impacts on both our residents and the kids. This program connects our wisest and newest generations, and I feel honoured to be able to do this for our residents, the pre-schoolers, and the local community,’ said Lisa. 
 
The Grant will go towards a Grandparents Day event which we will be holding at St Patrick’s Green this October – it’s set to be a fun, family-oriented day on our Village Green. Grandparents Day is a NSW Government initiative which celebrates the contributions seniors make to their families and communities. Currently we have plans for an animal farm, face painting, BBQ lunch, and photo booth for our residents and the kids to have their photo taken together. 
 
‘We’ll be inviting the parents of the local pre-school children who visit our residents to become part of the St Patrick’s Green community for the day. Our Grandparents Day event will bring together three generations in a community environment, and will provide a good opportunity for the parents to see their children interacting with their Grandfriends who they now know quite well,’ said Lisa Norwood. 
 
To keep up-to-date with the Grandfriends Project, and for more stories about the beautiful inter-generational friendships being formed in our Kogarah village, be sure to follow our Facebook page. If you would like to know more about our Aged Care Home at St Patrick’s Green, call us today on 02 9097 9175 or email stpatricksgreen@greengate.com.au.