What started out as a school project quickly turned into the creation of several beautiful new friendships.
Chevalier College students have spent the last couple of months learning about the rich history of residents at Harbison Care.
As part of the school’s Social Justice Program, students spent time with residents, interviewing, filming and creating films and essays about their lives.
On Monday, November 6 students played their short films for the residents. There was laughter, a few tears and a whole lot of hugs and smiles.
Chevalier College Social Justice Coordinator Leonie Stone said it was really special to see the connections the students made with the residents.
“The project was just a part of it in the end, what the students actually wanted to do was go and visit their new friends and have a chat,” she said.
“I know that some of the students will keep visiting the residents even though the project is over.”
But, Harbison Care Diversional Therapy & Volunteer Manager Josie Peacock said the program wasn’t just about the students, the Harbison residents were just as excited about the visits.
“They were always asking when they were coming and I think they really enjoyed just sitting down and talking to the kids,” she said.
“Passing on some life lesson and some words of wisdom.”
Inspiring, incredible, amazing, funny and wise were just some of the words used by students to describe the residents.
The key messages given to students by residents were “put your phones down”, "work hard on your relationships” and “stay close to your family and friends.”
The Wingecarribee Volunteer Centre, Chevalier College and Harbison Care worked together to establish this inter-generational program.
Both Ms Peacock and Ms Stone said they couldn’t have asked for a better result.
“The results for both the students and residents have been overwhelmingly positive and worthwhile,” Ms Peacock said.
“It was respectful and positive from the moment the students met their residents and the relationships and friendships formed were very meaningful.”
Ms Stone said she hoped to continue the program in the future.
“It’s been very rewarding so we’d definitely like to continue this with more students in future,” she said.