Dungog Community Centre to introduce Ageless Playgroup for families and elderly

Sarah U'Brien, Dungog Shire Community Centre
Sarah U'Brien, Dungog Shire Community Centre

I, like many of you, recently found myself tuning in each week with my hot chocolate and a box of tissues to watch 'Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds'. It became compulsive viewing across Australia as we were all deeply moved by the connections and friendship forged by these wonderful little people and their new older friends. We were equally heartened by the wonderful benefits that all involved demonstrated as their relationships grew. I know it struck a cord with so many in our community because so many of you contacted the community centre and stopped me in the street to ask if I had been watching and was there something like that in our area.

Encouraged and inspired by the show and our community's response Dungog Shire Community Centre, together with Wesley Mission have been in discussion with Lara, RSL Aged Care to try and develop an Ageless Playgroup in Dungog. As we discussed our shared passion for community and creating meaningful connections, across generations the collective want to develop a local Ageless Playgroup was clear.

However, as we continued our conversations our understanding of the potential benefits deepened. For children they learn through play, they can develop empathy, gentleness, respect and acceptance of others and experience boundless love and acceptance. For families they can connect to their community, feel valued as a parent and build relationships across generations. For the elderly they can feel valued as a 'resource' for young families, they can feel valued as a friend, they can increase their self esteem and reduce feelings of isolation.

We are so excited about the possibilities and the endless benefits this type of activity could bring to our community, but we know we need to move slowly and do this well so that this can be something that brings great friendship, opportunity and benefit for all involved.

So we will be holding a Christmas Gathering at Lara on December 17 from 10am to 12 noon. This will be an opportunity for those who are interested in being part of an Ageless Playgroup in 2020 to meet together, young and old, celebrate the season of giving through sharing a morning tea and some Christmas craft.

If you are interested in either attending the Christmas gathering and or would like to be kept up to date with the Ageless Playgroup developments please contact the community centre on 4992 1133 to register your interest.