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Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Teddy bears’ picnic for young and old

Despite being ages apart, residents at St Andrews Village and children at Hughes Preschool were the best of friends at a teddy bears’ picnic this week.

The pre-schoolers and residents got together to celebrate a piece of Floriade: Reimagined the youngsters had planted at the aged care village back in May.

St Andrews recreational and lifestyle coordinator Beverley Webb said the residents had enjoyed weekly visits from the children to water the bulbs, despite a bit of a rocky start due to COVID.

“When the children came to plant the bulbs, none of us assisted – their teachers dug the holes, but they put them all in,” she said.

“Nothing was happening for a little while after and we all thought ‘oh no, they have planted them upside down’.

“They all of a sudden bloomed and the kids absolutely loved it; they were intrigued.”

The weekly visits had become somewhat of an event for everyone involved, with resident Barrie Virtue saying he and his wife Claire looked forward to talking to the children from their balcony.

“Our balcony looks onto the garden and we see them coming, tramping across it to talk to us all at once,” he laughed.

“They talk over one another and tell us their names, it’s a bit hard to understand them.”

Preschoolers and aged care residents enjoyed spending time with each other to celebrate the blooming of their Floriade: Reimagined bulbs.

To celebrate the blooming of the bulbs, Ms Webb organised the teddy bears’ picnic party this week – with all residents and children bringing along their own toy. 

Residents and children enjoyed one another’s company while socially distanced, and the children treated the residents to a dance Mr Virtue “didn’t quite recognise”.

Ms Webb set up a teddy bear hunt at the end of the picnic, for the children to take part in on the grass.

The relationship between the groups goes further than just a weekly hello though, with the kids even noticing when Mr Virtue was absent from the village one week.

“A lovely thing that happened for me, I was in hospital for two or three days a month ago and the kids realised I wasn’t here and made me some get well cards,” Mr Virtue said.  

“It was a bit hard to recognise them as get well cards, they are only four years old I suppose and all the kids were at the front door excited to give them to me when I got back. It was absolutely lovely.”

Ms Webb said collaborations like the one between St Andrews Village and Hughes Preschool were fabulous for the residents, and staff like those at the preschool deserved the credit.

“It’s easy to have things like this but unless you have a good teacher it doesn’t get done so we need to give her the credit for organising this and bringing the kids,” she said.

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