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Easter making way for intergenerational friendships

Joan and residents are getting know students from the local school

The Easter bunny came early for local retirement village residents and school students after spending the first term of the school year together building intergenerational friendships.

Bolton Clarke Inverpine Retirement Village residents and Undurba State School students have been spending every Friday together as part of a program to broaden intergenerational understanding.

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

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

“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 who have truly connected over various topics.

“My husband was in the Army and we moved every two years, so my kids had eight schools each and I was telling them all about how they made new friends and navigating that,” Joan said.

“They were all 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.

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

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