Nurturing veteran connections in community

Nurturing veteran connections in community

THIS Anzac Day, Bolton Clarke’s Centaur Memorial community in Caloundra took a different approach to their commemorations.

Welcoming two Mates4Mates representatives into their community, residents and staff joined in a ‘conversation circle’, giving attendees the opportunity to create community connections.

Diversional Therapist Pam Grieg said it was an emotional morning but more so a powerful reminder for veteran residents to remember that they weren’t alone.

“The two gentlemen spoke of their own experiences during their service and thereafter,” she said.

“It was really enlightening for everyone in that room.

“As he was telling his story it really brought back to them what they went through themselves.”

Ms Greig, together with her staff and volunteers placed a tribute of veteran residents together, showcasing photos of them during their time of service.

She said this tribute offered a great sense of pride for veteran residents and an honour for all who had the pleasure of joining the community’s commemorations.

“The fellows (Mates4Mates representatives) teared up looking at the tribute that was made, they spoke so highly of that.”

The session also offered some key information regarding the work of Mates4Mates, much of which the residents weren’t aware of.

“They told the story about how Mates4Mates started,” she said.  “Everyone learnt so much about them.”

The commemorations flowed on with a traditional service, where the community was joined by students from Pacific Lutheran College, who shared their thoughts about what Anzac Day means to them.

Bolton Clarke supports more than 35,000 Veteran clients every year through its At Home Support, retirement living and residential aged care services.

The conversation circle was one of 11 held across the organisation, offering an opportunity of social connection for veteran residents and clients.

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