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Uniting Pen Pal Program

The postman visits Uniting Nareen Gardens and Brooke Avenue Primary School

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s Better Practice Award will be presented to staff and Uniting Nareen Garden residents on Wednesday, 2 March at Uniting Nareen Gardens Bateau Bay.

The pen-pal program, Community and Connection – a Rewarding Experience, was developed in partnership with Uniting Nareen Gardens and Brooke Avenue Primary School.

For residents, the simple act of writing a letter to keep in touch is nothing new but it has certainly put smiles on everyone’s faces. It also improved the student’s writing and literacy skills –  and they’ve also had fun!

Uniting Nareen Gardens Diversional Therapist Helen Smith said both the Nareen Gardens residents and the school had embraced the program, “Everyone has loved sharing their stories. The pen-pal program has been such a success, it is now a regular part of the school’s curriculum.”

One resident said, “I really enjoy the pen-pal program. I love reading the student’s letters every week. I worked as a teacher’s aide, I know how much children love writing letters. ”

Another said it has been a delight to write to her pen-pal, “My pen-pal is a delight to write to. He’s interested in learning about life in the 1930s. It’s a pleasure to share my story with him.”

For another resident the experience had helped her reminisce about her childhood, “I always enjoy receiving letters from the children, some of their questions bring back memories of my younger days. I write back straight away and can’t wait to read the next letter.”

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Award promote and acknowledge outstanding aged care practices by showcasing best practice initiatives and programs.


Photo opportunity

Uniting Nareen Gardens residents and staff and students from Brooke Avenue Primary School will be presented with their Better Practice Award.

When: Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 10:30 am

Where: Uniting Nareen Gardens, 5 Yakalla Street, Bateau Bay

Media contact: Alison Thyer, M: 0457 568 938, E: athyer@uniting.org