Pirie students write cards to St Josephs House residents

KIND: Year 8 Religion students have made cards that contain hand-written messages to residents at St Joseph's House.
KIND: Year 8 Religion students have made cards that contain hand-written messages to residents at St Joseph's House.

A simple act of kindness has put a smile on the face of elderly residents at St Joseph's House.

Year 8 students from St Mark's College created hand-written messages for residents after they were unable to visit them due to coronavirus restrictions.

St Mark's students work closely with the aged care facility and pay regular visits to residents as part of their religion classes.

While the virus has put a halt to visits, it hasn't stopped them from interacting through old fashioned communication lines.

Assistant principal Katie Pole said the school has had a strong connection with St Joseph's House for many years.

"Everything in the school has had to be re-thought and re-imagined this year and St Joe's is something the Year 8's particularly focus on," she said.

"Rather than thinking we can't do it, we looked at how we can do it differently and still have the same effect where those people are engaging with elderly people in the community.

"For a lot of the residents, when they don't get visitors it is just that contact with another person that makes a difference."

Year 8 student's Claire Mitchell, Jessica Evely and Cohen Tee said they were learning about kindness in class and shared what they have gained from the experience.

Jessica said it is important in tough times to reach out to the elderly so that they don't feel like they are forgotten.

"I wrote some of the things that I like to do and then a few questions from when they were at school and if they enjoyed playing sport and things like I do," she said.

"It feels good to know that we can still connect with them.

"I think it will bring back some memories from when they were younger."

Cohen said: "I included some of my hobbies, favourite things, age and about our school."

Claire said she felt "proud, happy and grateful" to be able to reach out to the residents.

St Joseph's House lifestyle manager Marra Pearn said the residents are filled with joy after receiving the cards.

Nancy Clarke said she loves receiving the letters from the children.

"It is a lovely gesture, thanks to them all," she said.

Jo Beyer said it is a great idea.

"It gets the young children mixing with the elderly," she said.

Doreen Donnon said it is lovely to get a card from the children.

"I like to display them in my room," she said.

Rhonda Richardson said: "I think it's wonderful, makes my day."