News Article

Joining generations through play

a six week pilot program of intergenerational playgroup

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Feb 16, 2024
ALEXANDRA is set to be a part of a six week pilot program of intergenerational playgroup, run by Playgroup Victoria and local organiser, Jess Slapp.
The idea behind intergenerational playgroup is to bring together multiple generations, supporting communities and nurturing relationships through play. In doing this, it fosters awareness, understanding and respect between generations and assists in breaking down social barriers and the isolation that is commonly experienced by new parents and ageing communities.
Jess explains her passion behind the project, “Personally, the idea has been bouncing around with me for a while. A few years back I’d heard a story about a community in England that was bridging their daycare shortages by linking retirees with local families and thought it was a fantastic idea.
“When I became a mum in 2022, I felt quite isolated having no family locally, and began to chat with others wondering how many of us were feeling this way. Chatting with people of all different life stages made me realise that isolation can happen quite often to mums and older people in our community, and then it felt obvious that these two groups of people would have more in common than we initially think.
“Then, I started watching the Old People’s Home series on ABC, and fell in love with the idea of enriching lives through unique connections in our community. I got in touch with Playgroup Victoria to see what established programs they could offer me to attend, and surprisingly my contact there mentioned that they hadn’t had much interest in these programs and that they’d like to pilot some programs around the state.
“Of course, I put our hand up, and got chatting with our local playgroup committee and a few friends from a couple of other relevant community groups about how great this would be.
“So the nuts and bolts started coming together, with a few key contacts supporting me from all sorts of places, including the Alexandra Playgroup, Murrindindi Shire Council Library and Murrindindi Shire Council community staff. We’re now here.”
Jess hopes the program establishes a base level of intergenerational connections across our community, and maybe creates some little glimmers in people’s day.
Jess added, “Even if the program doesn’t continue after its six week pilot, I’d love for the idea to continue blossoming in our community in whatever format that looks like. We’re all busy, but if we make a little bit of time for things like this, I think we’d all be better for it.
“I’d also love for the program to encourage other community members who find themselves in linking positions between community groups, to join me in establishing these programs. I have to admit, so far, it’s been so much easier than I thought it might be. I’m feeling very supported by our community in this endeavour.”
The program is open to anyone interested in hanging out with local parents and children in the community. So far, there is already some interest from…Read the full article to register for the program here.
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