Local group Act of Kindness has been bridging the gap between our community’s oldest and youngest members and is making a world of difference for local rest home residents.
The feel-good organisation, which connects people with family-friendly volunteer work and organises community events such as riverside clean ups, making Christmas cards for hospital patients and collecting donated goods for charity – has been visiting rest homes around Cambridge with mums and young children in an effort that benefits both young families and older generations.
“We’ve got so many rest homes in Cambridge and a growing aging population, but we’ve also got a growing young family population, so we want to bridge those generations and bring them together,” said Rebecca Broadbent, coordinator and founder of Act of Kindness. “For me it was a no-brainer… My background is in public health and youth development, and I read research about young people and the elderly and the positive impact it can have.”
Starting at Raeburn in October, the rest home visits now include Resthaven, the Selwyn St Andrews Moxon Centre and Oakdale, making weekday visits during the first fortnight of the month. The group also includes school age children during the school holidays, travelling to other rest homes as well.
“We’re hoping to spread the word about it and get a few more people on board,” Rebecca said. “We have lots of amazing parents bringing their children each month and have had a wonderful response from rest homes and their residents. It’s a real privilege going into the rest homes and I’ve seen the most beautiful exchanges take place between residents and children.”
Rebecca said it’s beneficial for the young children as well. “They’re learning to be patient, how to talk to other people, look people in the eye, ask and answer questions.
“I’ve learnt so much about Cambridge too, there’s all these different amazing elderly people who have got incredible stories to tell.”
Those interested can visit actofkindness.co.nz to find out about getting involved.