Dozens of young people who have spent their summer bonding with residents, playing games, knitting, organising concerts and going on picnics will say goodbye at the end of this week as the Activity Assistants Program comes to an end.

Nearly 30 young people aged between 15 and 22 years old helped out the Lifestyle and Leisure Teams across Christadelphian Aged Care Homes in Sydney, Albion Park, the Central Coast and Brisbane during the last three months.

The program aims to give Christadelphian young people a taste of working in aged care, and boosts the Lifestyle teams over the busy Christmas and holiday period.

Phoebe Smith worked as an Activity Assistant at Ridgeview Aged Care in Albion Park, and said she loved the variety of the role and now planned to work in aged care in the future.

“We have travelled with the residents on bus trips to various places including scenic trips and picnic outings. We participate in craft sessions, bingo, knitting and walking groups,” she said.

“I plan to study and work as an Resident Activities Officer in the future as I love this sort of work with the residents.”

The Activity Assistants with the Lifestyle Team at Courtlands Village in North Parramatta.

Kaitlyn Bonner said working as an Activity Assistant had helped her develop lifelong skills.

“I enjoy building strong bonds with the residents and getting to hear their stories. It’s rewarding knowing that you can bring a bit of fun to everyday, whether it’s organising a concert, doing Christmas craft or just playing a lengthy game of Rumikub,” she said.

“Each day is different, I’m constantly learning more and enjoying the challenges.  Working at Ridgeview is helping me develop lifelong skills through assisting the elderly which I hope to use in serving the wider community.”

The program was a wonderful opportunity for young people to be introduced to our Homes and learn new skills, said Volunteer and Pastoral Care Coordinator Michelle Chate.

Ridgeview Activity Assistants Phoebe and Kaitlyn.

“It is lovely to see our young people grow not only in maturity, but also in confidence as they share their youth, enthusiasm and love of Christ within our Home,” she said.

“The residents and staff eagerly await this time of year for the ‘new recruit’ of Activity Assistants, some new and some familiar faces.  It is so touching to see our young people sitting with the elderly and genuinely showing care and love, sharing life stories and laughing together.”

Ridgeview’s Lifestyle Team Leader Kim Lillie said the young people brought so much joy to the residents.

“Having the Activity Assistants at this time of year is a wonderful idea as it’s such a busy time for the Lifestyle Team and the benefits for us are wonderful,”she said.

The Activity Assistants Program is run every year across all our Homes during the summer holidays. For more information please contact Pastoral Care and Community Services Manager, Stuart Muir at smuir@chomes.com.au.