Port Lincoln playgroup builds on first year

After gaining attention and recognition in its first year, a playgroup involving some of Port Lincoln’s youngest and oldest residents is aiming to grow and build stronger generational relationships.

The Intergenerational Playgroup involving Kirton Point Children’s Centre and Matthew Flinders Home has begun its second year in term two.

Kirton Point Children’s Centre community development coordinator Sonia Regan said last year’s playgroup saw real benefits for residents and children.

“Residents who don’t have family around interacted with kids and the kids really showed some big growth around adults,” she said.

Mrs Regan said in this second year the hope was for the playgroup to grow even more.

“It was the first time anything like this had been done in Port Lincoln and we were hoping to build on it and build on intergenerational concepts in general,” she said.

This year playgroup sessions will take place on Mondays rather than Thursdays.

New playgroup facilitator Julie Gontar knows first hand the benefits of the playgroup having attended with her children last year.

Mrs Gontar said she was excited when the opportunity came to be facilitator came about as she knew how good it was for children.

“For them to have the undivided attention from the residents is beautiful,” she said.

Matthew Flinders Home chief executive officer Michael McKeown said linking young children with aged care facility residents was something the home was excited to continue being a part of.

“It brightens the children’s lights up and it certainly brightens the residents’ day,” he said.

“If you look across Australia lots of early childhood centres and aged care facilities are doing the same thing.”