Grandfriends of young and old

Ararat Early Learning Centre children joined their Grandfriends from Patricia Hinchey Centre and Gorrinn Village for music and fun in Alexandra Gardens.

Despite the chilly weather, singing and dancing warmed everyone up!

Organised by EGHS Patricia Hinchey Centre Leisure and Lifestyle officer Lionel Holt and daughter Isabel Nacarrow from the Ararat Early Learning Centre, the Grandfriends of young and old, and children’s parents, carers and friends were joined by 48 children from Ararat Early Learning Centre.

“We originally dreamed up this event as part of the Golden Gateway Festival, and it turned out it also landed in Children’s Week and Seniors’ month! Such a wonderful way to celebrate young and old,” Ms Nancarrow said.
Lionel Holt, a talented musician, lead the singing and kept everyone involved and engaged.

This event is just one of many occasions Grandfriends and children have come together.
Ms Nancarrow said Ararat Early Learning Centre has been working with EGHS, particularly Lowe Street and Garden View Court since 2018, enjoying fortnightly visits throughout 2018.

In 2019 the childcare centre moved across town and the visits changed to monthly, made possible by sponsorship from VLine who paid for bus transport. Unfortunately COVID-19 prevented the visits continuing for a few years.

“In 2023 we have been building new grandfriend relationships with Gorrin Village independent living unit residents who we visit for picnics, composting and had all our emergency service visits with this year, and Patricia Hinchey Day Centre, where we visit monthly for music and craft,” she said.

EGHS chief executive said the bonds formed between children and their Grandfriends from the Patricia Hinchey Centre and Gorrinn Village was great to see.

“I would like to extend my thanks to Lionel Holt and Isabel Nancarrow for planning the event in Alexandra Gardens and fostering the friendships between the children and their older friends,” he said.

Ms Nancarrow thanked Gorrinn Village for helping provide, transport and set up chairs for grandfriends and also thanked EGHS and Gorrinn Village for their ongoing support of the intergenerational events.