Every Tuesday afternoon a group of Year 9 students from Aquinas College visit Baptistcare Gracewood Residential Care to spend time playing games and quizzing residents on everything from the rules of Scrabble to what school was like in the 1940s and ’50s.
Belinda Mele, Therapy and Leisure Partner at Baptistcare Gracewood, says the weekly visits from the teenage boys bring tangible benefits for young and old.
“For some of our residents it’s a reminder of the times they had with their own children. For others it’s simply a great way to socialise with the local community,” Ms Mele said.
“The continuity of having the same students come each week over several months has provided the opportunity for bonds and relationships to develop, which has become an important part of the process,” Ms Mele said.
“It’s lovely to see the smiles on the residents’ faces when they see the students and I never have to ask twice if they want to participate.”
Paul Rich, Director of Service Learning at Aquinas College, said the boys brought a cheeky sense of fun to the afternoon visits.
“It’s not about completing the hours or getting an award, they just enjoy it,” Mr Rich said.
“It’s fun and they get a lot out of it. The experience of community service definitely makes for a more balanced person.”
Aquinas College has a long-standing relationship with Baptistcare Gracewood. Each year, a number of residents are special guests at the college’s Founder’s Day celebrations.
For more information about Residential Care, please follow the link below or
contact us on 1300 660 640.