Students bring smiles to elderly

Last week saw IGS students participate in their first much anticipated virtual visit with Opal Annandale Aged Care residents.

The students and residents bonded over their pet cats and their passion for volunteering, among other things.

Following a successful trial of the face to face Seniors and Teens Empathy Program (STEP) last year, facilitated by Heart and Soul Story, the program was set to start up again this year, but with strict visiting rules amid COVID-19, Heart and Soul moved their program online.

IGS students Madiba and Lulu enjoyed talking with Kevin, who left school just before he turned 15 to work in retail.

Kevin told the students how much he would love to hear about their plans for when they leave school and gave them some advice: “Not to worry about getting a job and to always stay positive.”

Student Fredi who is new to IGS resonated with Garry, who came out from England aged 17. She shared that her mother also arrived in Australia from England when she was a teenager.

“Louise showed off her Meerkat rain catcher, Nathan told us about his volunteering at Taronga zoo and the signs up for social distancing that tell people to ‘keep 5 Meerkats apart’,” Sam of Heart and Soul said.

Sam said she looks forward to seeing the friendships between the students and residents deepen.