Primary kids cheer up Karinya

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Email Kellie Balaam
Sisters Addisyn Cooper, 6 and Indie Cooper, 8 with their heat packs and Easter cards for Karinya residents.
Camera IconSisters Addisyn Cooper, 6 and Indie Cooper, 8 with their heat packs and Easter cards for Karinya residents. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Narrogin retirement community Karinya and local primary schools across town have teamed up to create a pen pal program between students and aged care residents.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Karinya has closed its doors to the outside world in a bid to protect its elderly residents from the deadly virus.

To keep residents’ spirits high, Karinya occupational therapist Nicki Gambrell organised the local primary schools to get on board with the pen pal project.

“I’d thought about it for a while and then the idea was refreshed when we saw what’s going on with COVID-19 at the moment,” Ms Gambrell said.

“Karinya isn’t accepting any visitors, so we thought this would keep them in touch with the outside world and give the kids something to do, something meaningful. We’re hoping at the end of all this to get them in a face-to-face meeting.”

Students at St Matthews School are writing letters to the elderly.
Camera IconStudents at St Matthews School are writing letters to the elderly.

St Matthew’s School assistant principal Sue Milton said students had been writing letters and making cards and different items for the residents.

“While the kids aren’t at school anymore we still put it out to kids and their parents, so they’ve either being emailing them in or dropping them off at the school,” she said.

Sisters Addisyn and Indie Cooper have written letters to residents at Karinya.

The girls, aged six and eight, even handmade wheat packs for the colder months.

Karinya has picked up the first round of letters to give out to residents just in time for Easter.

Ms Gambrell said the residents would be very touched.

“It will hopefully make them feel really great and think it’s nice because they can’t have visitors,” she said.

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