St Philip’s Young at Heart Program Providing Joy to Calvary Cessnock Residents

Over the past eight weeks students from St Philip’s Christian College have been visiting residents at Calvary Cessnock Retirement Community as part of their Young At Heart program.


Each week a busload of students, ranging from Kindergarten to Year 4, perform songs and dances across the various lodges of the local aged care facility. The students take time to read books and their own stories to the residents. The young children also visit the dementia lodges of the site and the residents enjoy the interactions. Alzheimer’s Australia state “For many people, music or contact with babies, children or animals provide positive feelings”.


The intergenerational relationship between St Philip’s and Calvary Cessnock has been growing across various projects for the past three years.


Margaret Pond, Head of Junior School at St Philip’s said “They have learnt so much from each other, especially when it comes time to ask about life in the past and present. Their behaviour has been outstanding and the way they have connected and embraced the residents has been amazing. Our students are certainly displaying our college core values of serving one another and building community”.


Calvary Cessnock General Manager Kristin Smith said “It’s really wonderful to see so much interaction between the children and our residents. It’s such unconditional sharing of affection and is beautiful to watch”. She continued, “Our residents love interacting with the local community and these visits have become a highlight in our activities program”.



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