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It’s all about giving back at Estia Health Werribee

Christmas has always been synonymous with giving. But at Estia Health Werribee aged care, the true meaning of Christmas is in full swing, thanks to the home’s residents.

When asked by the Manger, Margaret Grasso, if they would like to support a charity for Christmas, the residents overwhelmingly said yes: Disadvantaged kids in the area. Being a multicultural suburb where many of the residents grew up as new Australians, they wanted to give the local kids the opportunity to feel the communal warmth and acceptance that they themselves experienced when they were young. And naturally, they also wanted to reach out to those that are less fortunate.

Armed with this information, Ms Grasso contacted the Salvation Army to see if they could work together to help 6-12 year olds via the local schools.

A large Christmas tree was then erected in Estia Werribee’s foyer and 40 pledge cards were pinned to it. Each card had the gender and age of a child – which residents, their relatives, friends and staff members could buy a gift for.

Ms Grasso said “At first I was a bit worried as to whether it would catch on. But now I can’t believe how popular the activity has been. There’s only four cards left on the tree and it looks like I’m going to have to put more up! And everyone’s talking about it – it’s really heart-warming.”

Just prior to Christmas day, all the kids that are registered for the activity will go to the home to collect a gift. “This should be as exciting for the residents as it is for the kids, I think. Every time children visit, our residents’ eyes light up and they’re full of laughs.” Ms Grasso added.

And the community spirit won’t stop there.

Estia Werribee is currently undergoing some refurbishments – one of which is a café, complete with a gift store.

Ms Grasso said, “In the New Year, I plan to start monthly expresso mornings, where residents and people from the local community can come to experience a little bit of Italy. Having a strong local Italian community, I think this will be a real treat – especially if we serve freshly baked Italian biscotti, play Italian music and get to chat about the old country. I’m Italian myself, so I may even get to talk in my native language.

I’m hoping to do this with other cultures as well. We’re lucky enough to have a wide mix of people here. And of course, you don’t need to be from that particular culture to join us for some laughs and entertainment.”

For more information about up and coming events at Estia Werribee, including their cultural days, contact 03 9749 8000.

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