‘Mini Vinnies’ closing the generational gap

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They may be generations apart, but students at Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School and residents of Lyndoch Living are embarking on an innovative joint project to increase wellness and learning outcomes that will benefit both ends of the generational spectrum.

Through the ‘Mini Vinnies’ (mini-Saint Vincents) program, pupils are paired with residents to converse, seeking to find out the resident’s life stories and personal interests.  Students then, with the help of their teacher, select suitable reading material that aligns with the past history and interests of their resident so that they can enjoy reading together.

Cath Porter, Nurse Unit Manager at Lyndoch Living’s Audrey Prider Centre, said the program is an expansion on Lyndoch’s previous intergenerational program.

“We already had a very well established visiting program with OLHOC Primary School, whereby selected pupils visited our Audrey Prider Centre every Thursday, joining the residents for a freshly prepared breakfast and interacting with conversation, just making a social connection,” Ms Porter said.

“Through discussions with the school we identified the potential to mutually improve the benefits of these visits for students and residents alike, by combining reading curriculum for students with reminiscence and wellbeing for residents.”

Ms Porter said that, through this more formalised visiting structure, the students will develop improved reading skills, gain confidence in public speaking and confidence in their ability to express themselves in conversation.

“The participating residents will gain a better sense of wellbeing through this one on one personalised engagement that will connect them in a meaningful way through a sense of purpose to supporting early childhood development, and also to their own past history and significant elements of their life,” she said.

Lyndoch CEO Doreen Power said the extension of the Mini Vinnies program is just one example of how Lyndoch Living is continually seeking to improve the wellness and quality of life for residents.

“The extension of this program adds so much more depth to developing and strengthening relationships between the students and residents,” she said.

“I congratulate our Audrey Prider team and the teachers at OLHOC Primary for their commitment to those in their care, thinking outside of the box and for getting this mutually beneficial program off the ground,” she said.

All interactions between pupils and residents will be monitored by teachers and residential staff to assure good connections and rapport between the participants.


“We are very grateful for the professionalism and care the staff have shown”

Family of Living@Home clients


“We would like to acknowledge the fantastic support shown to this lovely couple by the Living@Home team and the flexibility and understanding of their care needs”

Family Member of Living@Home client


“The lady you sent over yesterday was delightful, and even made Mum a hot lemon drink and put her to bed”

Leanne (daughter of Living@Home client)


“What a wonderful job Trish and Liz do, we are so happy with the care they provide”

Family Members of Living@Home clients


“I really appreciate the support from the Lyndoch Living@Home team, it’s a huge help in managing my caring role”

Michelle (Living@Home client)


“A very big thank you to the wonderful staff who came into our home and cared for my husband.  This respite break made a very difficult situation more tolerable and gave me something to look forward to”

Christine (Living@Home client)


“Geraldine is the about the best cleaner I’ve ever had!”

Maurice  (Living@Home client)


“Jan is such a capable, competent and calming carer, I feel so safe in her hands.  I could not ask for anyone better”

Joan (Living@Home client)


“I’ve always been a busy, practical person and I’m still a busy person – I’m still able to be very involved in the community, especially the Speedway. I’m a busy bloke!”
“I get spoilt rotten here! I really get cared for.”

Stuart (Swinton East)


“One of the lovely nurses had a great idea and planted out a raised bed with tomatoes and other plants and I enjoy getting out there and doing some work in the garden, collecting the produce.” “The staff are very, very nice. They greet you with a smile and do things very well.“
“I really enjoy the school kids visiting, and I’m amazed at the quality of the kids,
they’re all so nice!”

John (Lake Lodge)


“I’ve lived here for 5 years and I’m very happy with the nurses and other staff”

Margaret (Lake Lodge)


“I’ve made friends here that I wouldn’t have been able to meet living by myself at home. It’s like an extension of your family” “The staff are absolutely fantastic here, nothing is ever a problem for them. Right through to the maintenance men, the cleaners and gardeners and staff at the kiosk, they’re all obliging and always greet you with a smile” “At Lyndoch I get comfort, care and conversation, add a bit of fresh air and that’s exactly what you need in life”

Lynette (Swinton East)