East Melbourne fun for old and young together
We all know about the emotional and physical benefits of intergenerational social activities. Some may remember the ABC show about the old folks and the four-year-olds?
Recently the East Melbourne Neighbour Network (EMNN) combined with the East Melbourne Childcare Cooperative to bring together some of our older residents and the kinder children.
Backed by the City of Melbourne and other local groups under the name of Powlett Group Walking Tours, a monthly event that begins at the Community Centre in Powlett Reserve will now be held.
Older folks and kinder children will meet up and walk together to a local destination for a short activity together before walking back to the Community Centre.
At our first event a bunch of excited children met the slightly nervous adults under the guidance of the kinder staff. A friendly introduction was overheard: “Hello, my name is Tom and I am very old”.
A happy response from a little girl led to the gentle suggestion: “You can call me Grandpa Tom if you like”.
So began a special little friendship, walking to the library hand in hand, little girl asking to sit on “Grandpa Tom’s” knee for a special story and an equally special walk back to kinder.
Some of the comments from the children included:
“I loved walking with the people. We saw a bit of mint and we ate a little, and I really love the dancing too”.
“I read books with the friends, the big friends. We played with the adult friends.”
“We read books with the grandads and our teachers and the grannies.”
There is now hope to include a few other activities, including a morning tea in the Community Room with children “helping”.
Our next Walking Tour is on October 5 to the Fitzroy Gardens visitor centre. Please contact [email protected] if you or someone you know would like to become involved. •