Alcheringa Celebrates Festive Season with Community Collaboration

Alcheringa |

Alcgeringa Bunnings visit

In the lead-up to Christmas, our residents at Alcheringa were excited to welcome a special visit from Swan Hill Bunnings for a memorable pre-Christmas activity designed to help them hone their arts and craft skills – as well as get into the festive spirit!

The morning, held in the week before Christmas, saw Bella – a team member from the local Bunnings – support our eager residents to craft and decorate quirky reindeer models, creatively formed using gardening pots. 

Bella says the visit was part of an ongoing community program, run by Bunnings, in which they attend local schools and aged care homes to host engaging, hands-on activities for participating groups. 

“It’s so good to be able to get back out in the community after Covid and connect with people living in aged care… just seeing the delight on their faces once they see the finished products makes my day,” Bella says.  

“Now that we’ve started up this program again, we’re looking forward to continuing to engage Alcheringa residents with even more activities in 2024 and beyond.” 

The event continued a busy summer of fun-filled activity for Alcheringa. The home’s social care team curates a wide range of regular events and activities which inspire participation, promote inclusion, and give residents an opportunity to stay connected with each other, as well as the community, in a fun and positive way. 

Mariya Hicks is Alcheringa’s Social Care Coordinator, and she says the morning, which was greeted with great enthusiasm from residents, was important for several reasons.

“Terrific activities and events like this, where we welcome the community, are hugely beneficial for residents as well as the home. It allows us to stay connected with local families and ensures our residents can continue to feel a strong link with Swan Hill and the surrounding region,” she says. 

Alcheringa Bunnings visit

“It was just wonderful see how the residents engaged with Bella from Bunnings and were so interested and stimulated by the project that she had bought to us. Every resident was so delighted with their handy work, and so happy to show them off and tell everyone, including their friends and family, about the morning’s activity. 

“The little reindeers took pride of place in our home’s communal room across our Christmas celebrations and continue to bring smiles to our faces in the New Year.” 

Research has demonstrated that arts and craft activities have therapeutic benefits, which can be particularly beneficial for older Australians. It can reduce anxiety and stress, support mental health and wellbeing, and help build social connections with others – especially important for those residing in aged care.  

Additionally, participating in creative activities can help individuals express emotions, which can also lead to improved optimism and a boost in their body’s immune response.   

“At Alcheringa, we believe that creating a robust calendar of art and crafts activities and hands-on programs go hand in hand with providing our residents with engagement, creative outlets, and opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing,” Mariya says. 

Feedback from Alcheringa residents about the morning was similarly glowing. One of the residents, Graeme, shared how proud he was with the reindeer he had crafted, while complimenting Bella for her support during the session. 

“Bella was not only very talented but extremely lovely and patient with us. It’s clear she has a lot of skills and experience helping people in aged care participate in arts and crafts,” he says. 

Resident Dot agrees: “Bella can come back any time she likes! I enjoy art and craft projects, and this was the best thing I’ve done in a long time!”

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