May 17, 2021
Adopt a Grand-buddy program, fun face-to-face session kicks off intergenerational friendship
After a year of challenges and extended periods of isolation, aged care residents from Anglican Care are ready to ‘adopt’ their new four year-old ‘grand-buddies’ as part of an intergenerational program focusing on friendship and learning. The 12 month program commences this Wednesday, May 19 with the first of 12 face-to-face interactive sessions focusing on socialisation, safety education and physical and emotional wellbeing.
With a generous $81,000 in funding support from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, the KIDS Foundation is able to match 65 early education childhood centres/groups with aged care facilities/groups throughout NSW to provide this program free of charge. Connecting Generations is an extension of the KIDS Foundation’s SeeMore Safety program, an early year’s safety education program that focuses on learning through literature and real-life experiences.
KIDS Founder and CEO Dr Susie O’Neill says that COVID-19 social-distancing regulations, particularly for our aged care friends, prevented this program being rolled out as planned in 2020 and she is excited to recommence an initiative that has been delivered successfully throughout Victoria.
“Connecting Generations brings together elderly and young members of the community – two of the most vulnerable groups within Australia, groups that have the highest rates of injury through accidents. It connects participants on a regular basis where they learn from each other and share knowledge about keeping themselves safe in various situations and environments.”
“On average in one week across Australia will see 35,000 children attending an emergency department of which 1,300 will be admitted and five will die. In Victoria alone, an average of 627 elderly people present themselves to an emergency department each week, with 410 being admitted and 12 dying.
“The program improves the physical, mental and emotional health and safety awareness of the participants involved and covers a range of topics such as safety in the home, in the car, at the beach and with a friend to redress the injury statistics of vulnerable community members,” said Dr O’Neill.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation pledged the funding grant to the KIDS Foundation to ensure the Connecting Generations program could be rolled out in Newcastle and across regional NSW.
“Our purpose is to help rewrite the future for vulnerable people within our community and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has supported this program to help give a real sense of purpose to these elderly residents in Newcastle and their new grand-buddies,” said Jennifer Leslie, Chair of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
“As an extension of the SeeMore Safety program which we have supported in the past, we know this program will have such a positive impact on the participants, helping them to build friendships and keep each other safe.”
Anglican Care’s Marketing Manager Kylie Jacques is delighted to have their residential aged care homes enjoy this intergenerational program and is confident it will be a fabulous addition to the lifestyle, wellbeing and diversity programs already on offer.
“We’re honoured to host this program. We can’t wait to meet the children and see their smiling faces on a regular basis. COVID-19 presented us with challenges, and this excursion has everyone looking forward to making new friends and meeting up over the year at our home and theirs” said Ms Jacques.
Connecting Generations: Adopt a Grand-buddy program is a KIDS Foundation program that includes all of the resources required to deliver over a 12 month period.
Media and interview inquiries:
Dr Susie O’Neill, Founder and CEO, KIDS Foundation
1300 734733 | 0419508866 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Janine Buesnel, COO, KIDS Foundation
1300 734733 | email@example.com
This is a photo of Susie O'Neill's mother-in-law (Billie) and grandson (Lewi)