FUSION (Fun Unite Smile Ignite Older New) An Aged and Youth Partnership

This partnership has introduced 30 high school students to the aged care industry by holding fortnightly activity sessions at the aged care facility throughout the year. The activities increase intergenerational understanding and empathy by instilling a sense of community services and enhancing positive interactions between the different cultures and bridging the generation gap.

The series of planned activities will lead to better empathy amongst the participants, having a positive effect on both physical and mental wellness.

The program encourages, supports and increases participation in volunteering at an early age and will assist interested students in making the transition from school to work in the community sector while enhancing their employability skills.

The partners, SummitCare (Canley Vale) and Canley Vale High School through the facilitation of South West Connect have formulated a schedule of partnership activities that will engage both the students and the aged care residents. At the commencement of each week’s session students are given a brief training session by qualified staff about different aspects of the aged care industry ranging from hygiene, fire safety right through to mental health and dementia.

This partnership directly provides students with real life work situations as they interact with selected members of the 98 aged care residents from across 15 nationality backgrounds at SummitCare. Students gain valuable life skills (WH&S, First Aid, interpersonal and teamwork skills etc) that will assist them in the transition from school to work. Federal, State and Local Governments, particularly Fairfield City Council have identified the current as well as future skills shortages within the aged care sector in line with Australia’s aging population. St Johns Park Bowling Club and Fairfield RSL, through the ClubGRANTS process have jointly funded this initiative.