For a year residents at Calvary Sandhill aged care home have been whipping up batches of choc-chip cookies and muffins and packaging them up for others experiencing homelessness.
Calvary Sandhill’s Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator, Candace Harrington, said she approached residents after seeing a post from local homelessness charity, Strike It Out, on social media who needed help.
“I saw what they were doing for the community and that they needed a bit of help, so I asked some of the residents if they wanted to try it,” Ms Harrington said.
“They were super keen, and here we are a year on and they are still doing it.
“They all look forward to the cooking day – I think there would be trouble if I took it off the activity list!”
Resident Shirley O’Conner agreed and said it is wonderful to do something to help others in her community.
Now in her 90s and partially blind, Shirley looks forward to the activity, joining a production line of residents around the table each month sifting, adding ingredients and mixing. Cookies one month, muffins the next.
About six or seven residents usually turn up to the baking endeavour, with everyone takes a turn at the different tasks, and once the goodies are baked and cooled, they are packaged up into individual bags for distribution.
“We all know each other, so we put our gloves on and have a lovely chat as we go. After a year we’ve become quite professional!” said Shirley.
“We’re doing something for others, and it makes us feel wanted and have a purpose.”
Strike It Out provides homeless people with meals twice a week, and emergency supplies of basic essentials. They also deliver food packages for individuals and families.
Manager of the service, Kirsten Ritchie, thanked residents for their support and said the baked goodies gave some welcome and delicious sustenance along with moments of joy for people less fortunate.
She said, “We believe no one should be left behind and these wonderful residents are helping us bring about positive change in people’s lives and creating feelings of self-worth.”
“Every little bit helps, and helping us makes a world of difference to those who need our services.”