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Spotlight: Community spirit in action: village-school collaboration

This article has been adapted from the original. To see the full article head to http://insitemagazine.co.nz/2017/07/04/community-spirit-in-action-village-school-collaboration/

Aparangi Village has hosted students and teachers who have embarked on many projects within the care unit and the village. The students have worked alongside staff, the residents and families to make a difference in the lives of those who live there.

They have made chocolate, worked around the gardens, entertained and generally connected with the residents. There has been a noticeable increase in iPad use among residents since the students’ input! They have added spark, enthusiasm and energy to many of the residents’ lives. According to staff, the buzz around the village over several weeks was “phenomenal”.

The ‘Aroha Reflections’ memorial garden was another collaborative project. The students rolled up their sleeves, and working alongside staff and the family of the late Noel Bunn, they transformed the courtyard within the care facility into a little piece of paradise for many to enjoy. New Zealand native plants take pride of place in the garden, which was created in honour of the late Mr Bunn and his wife and to the ‘Strong Generation of New Zealanders – Past, Present and Future’.

Such projects have helped the village to retain a central role within the community. They have also helped younger people feel more connected with the older people in the community.

Aparangi has previously taken on Gateway students. The purpose of the Gateway programme is to enable schools to provide senior students (Year 11 and above) with opportunities to access structured workplace learning.

The students’ workplace learning stints at Aparangi have proved popular with both students and residents. The Gateway programme has resulted in many young people volunteering at Aparangi and has seen some embark on employment, bringing with them energy and vibrancy, which the residents enjoy.

Aparangi exists as a result of the vision of a group of individuals. Everyday the team there think about how to keep this vision fresh, current and connected with their community. Working with the school is just one example where they make a difference in many people’s lives.

Take a look at Aparangi Village’s listing on Eldernet

About Eve Williams

Eve Williams
Eve Williams is the Production and Social Media Administrator for Eldernet. She is currently studying towards her Masters at the University of Canterbury. She has a passion for learning new things.

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