Unbreakable friendships are forming at Ningana
A BEAUTIFUL initiative between Ningana and the Dalby Christian College Early Learning Centre is proving age is just a number.
Children from the centre have been visiting the retirement village fortnightly for the past three months, and an incredible bond has formed.
Ningana resident Moreen Pearce said she cherished every minute spent with the children.
"I think it's great, they're having a good time and we're enjoying it,” Mrs Pearce said.
"At first I thought they'd be too shy to speak to old people but they're very chatty.
"We read them books and we colour in and try to show interest in things the children are interested in.
"They sang to us the first time they came which we weren't expecting.
"It makes me happy to talk to them... it's a good thing for both of us.”
September 12 was Chocolate Milkshake Day in the US, so it was drinks all round as residents read books to the children while the younger generation was introducing the retirees to some modern games.
Ningana activities officer Janelle Jobling came up with the idea and said the connections which had been built were genuine.
"Originally the idea was to tee up 10 residents with 10 children so they could build a relationship... but we've had more residents wanting to become involved once they've seen what was going on,” Mrs Jobling said.
"It gets them out of their room and connects them back with the community. It gets them involved with a generation that they might not have much to do with.
"We've had residents who have been unwell and the kids have sent them cards off their own bat; so they really have formed a special bond.”
Mrs Jobling said the time spent together was not only socially beneficial, but also helped mentally.
"The residents learn new things; the children bring in games and toys that they've never seen before so it stimulates their mind.
"This is the one activity where the residents are down here before it starts... they really anticipate it.
"It's been very successful.”