As part of their Christian Outreach program, fourteen MacKillop College senior students underwent induction at Maryknoll (which is part of St Agnes’ Site) in late April, as preparation for the intergenerational ‘Memoirs’ project.
The ‘Memoirs’ project sees students partner with a resident to learn about their life story and history. From the information shared the students create a ‘This is your life’ style book that is presented to each resident at the conclusion of the project.
The project has many benefits for all involved. It builds relationships, understanding and genuine friendships between young and old.
During the induction the students from Years 10, 11 and 12 learned about the sign in process for St Agnes’ Site, including the COVID protocols (RAT testing, temperature checks and Zipline registration, and wearing masks on site).
Site Manager, Colleen Banks, spoke to the students about the myths of ageing, reminding them that older people are not always forgetful, and each resident has a lifetime of experiences to share. She also touched on important issues such as WHS, privacy and confidentiality, the code of conduct and the need for respect and honesty in building relationships of trust with residents.
Justine Worner, from the Pastoral & Spiritual Care team, spoke about what the students might see and experience during their weekly one-hour visits; about getting to know their resident; and understanding that, when on site, the students are in the residents’ home.
Some of the students are also participating in Duke of Edinburgh Awards and will be able to use their visitation hours towards the volunteer hours required for this award.
MacKillop College staff members, Marg Gobius (who accompanied the students for the induction) and Abbie Moss, along with Colleen and Justine from St Agnes’ Site, will provide support to them during the project.