Fostering intergenerational connections at Vincent Court

The St Paul’s College Year 11 and 12 students undertaking their school-based traineeship at Vincent Court are coming along in leaps and bounds! These impressive students will complete their studies with a Certificate III in Individual Support, and they are loving their hands-on learning experience in our community.  

Five of the students have already secured part-time employment at Vincent Court and say that this initiative has given them a head start on their future careers. But perhaps equally important is the special opportunity it’s given them to form rewarding connections with residents.  

Student Shelby said, “Spending time with the residents is so lovely. We’re learning valuable clinical skills from our supervisors but we’re also getting to know these older Australians which is really special.”  

The enthusiasm the students have for the learning experience and the deep respect they show residents has been noticed by everyone at Vincent Court.  

Residential Services Manager, Kylie Bonney, says the initiative is a win-win for the students and the residents.  

“This program is showing students how valuable a career in aged care can be, plus it’s giving residents the opportunity to interact with a younger generation, and they just love it,” she said.  

“The residents get so excited when they know the students are coming. They’ve formed a deep bond with them,” Kylie commented.  

Most of the students, including Emily, are planning on continuing their education after they finish Year 12. “I want to go to university to become a Registered Nurse. I think I’ll choose to continue Nursing in aged care sector because I love it so much,” she said. 
 

To find out more about how this initiative is helping local students and Vincent Court, contact our us by calling (02) 6562 6062 or emailing info@vincentcourt.org.au 

Our favourite Gingerbread recipe – with a twist

Who doesn’t love yummy little Gingerbread men at Christmas time? This is our Head Chef’s favourite Gingerbread recipe that Apollo Care residents and visitors will be enjoying in each of our communities this festive season.

For something different, we love pairing these Gingerbreads with a French-inspired syrup. It’s delicious drizzled over the biscuits and definitely adds a fancy touch to this Christmas classic.

Here’s the recipe so you can try at home:

Gingerbread (makes 24)

Ingredients

580g plain flour

3 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

175g softened butter

175g caster sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp orange juice

1/2 cup molasses

Sugar to dust

Method

1. Cream butter and sugar together.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add eggs, orange juice and molasses to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

4. Slowly add the dry mixture and stir until it comes together as a dough.

5. Roll the mixture on a floured bench with a rolling pin to a consistent thickness of approx. 0.5cm.

6. Use a cookie cutter to make gingerbread-shaped biscuits and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then dust with sugar.

7. Bake at 175 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

8. Cool completely on a wire rack before decorating with piped icing

Pain D’Epice Syrup

Ingredients

125g Sugar

500ml water

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 star anise

1 cardamom pod

Small pinch ground cloves

Small pinch ground nutmeg

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

2. Keep simmering until syrup has reduced to desired consistency, then remove star anise and cardamon pod from the mixture.

3. Allow to cool and then serve syrup as a drizzle or dipping sauce with the Gingerbreads.

Meet Margaret – whose handmade crafts are helping others in need

Margaret is a much-loved Kempsey local, moving here from Port Macquarie when she was nine years old. She has a long history of serving her community, spending more than 40 years proudly working at the iconic variety store, Fosseys.

Margaret’s crocheted dolls, rugs and cushions are legendary at Vincent Court. She was taught to crochet by her grandmother and finds this pastime to be very fulfilling.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to crochet – I think everyone should learn! It’s so good for my mental stimulation so I crochet all the time.”

Margaret donates the rugs she makes to the Vincent Court raffles and has won many prizes for her beautiful crafts at the annual Kempsey Show.

But the positive impact of Margaret’s crocheting has a far wider reach. She also donates her creations to Wrap with Love – an amazing not-for-profit organisation that distributes hand-knitted or crocheted rugs to people in need around Australia and overseas.

“I find it so rewarding that something I’ve made can help someone less fortunate. To think that my rugs are being used to keep people in need warm makes me so happy.

“I’m very grateful that the staff at Vincent Court are so supportive of my hobby. They really take an interest and encourage me to do what I love.”

Margaret has been a resident at Vincent Court since 2017 and says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My Mother, Mother-in-Law and husband, Lyle, all lived at Vincent Court for a time, so I knew how good this community was. If anyone asks me what it’s like living here, I tell them I wouldn’t go anywhere else. It’s as good as you can get and I have everything I need right here. Everyone is so friendly. I recommend it to anyone – I’d be lonely if I didn’t live here.”

At Vincent Court, we love supporting residents like Margaret remain engaged in the activities that bring them joy and purpose.

Community spirit alive and well at Vincent Court

Anyone connected with Vincent Court would know how community minded the residents are. From cooking stalls and choir performances at the annual Kempsey Fete, through to the amazing array of handmade craft items donated as raffle prizes, the residents love using their talents to make a positive contribution.

Any money raised from the stalls and raffles is saved in a special bank account and the residents vote on how it will be spent. There’s one golden rule of thumb when deciding, though. Whatever is purchased must be used and enjoyed by ALL the residents.

Just some of the items that these funds have purchased include outdoor tables and chairs, a Jack and Jill chair, and even the snooker table in the Recreation Centre! What a great commitment to making our community an even better place to live.

Next time you visit, take a look at the items for sale in our display cabinets. You’ll find beanies, rugs, gloves, coat hangers and Christmas decorations all available for purchase.

Meet Sister Cabrini – who loves calling Vincent Court home

Sister Cabrini is such a special part of Vincent Court and is loved by our whole community. We sat down and asked her about her childhood, what drew her to a life of service, and why she feels at home here at Vincent Court.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Kempsey and our family dairy farm was in Monday Creek. I had three older sisters and one older brother. My siblings and I used to walk two miles to attend a little bush school. Sometimes we rode a horse, but I was happy to walk. All the classes were held in the one room, we played school sports, and every now and then, we’d have a competition with other nearby schools. Our teacher lived in the schoolhouse with his wife, and every Friday afternoon, they’d pack up and go to Crescent Head for the weekend.

What do you like to do?

That’s a hard question because I like most things. I like life. I really can’t think of anything I don’t like!

When did you become a Sister?

After I finished at the school in Monday Creek, I went to boarding school in Kempsey. Then, I went to college in Grafton and I met the Nuns who I greatly admired. I was just 17 but something pulled me to this way of life, and that was God. I don’t think you can perform this role if you don’t have God on your side or if He doesn’t want you to do it.

What do love most about a being a Sister?

One of the most important things for me was teaching in the infant school where I’d tell the children about God. They got to know who He was through me. I hope that today, wherever those children are, God is important to them. I’ve never regretted not having a husband – I had God so I didn’t have to worry about other fellas!

Why do you enjoy living at Vincent Court?

I used to volunteer here and I’m so happy to live here now. I’m part of a beautiful community, and I enjoy doing so many things with others, like handicraft and exercise group and helping others. I love looking out of the windows and seeing the trees reaching up to the clouds, with the birds singing. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. And I’m very well fed and care for. I haven’t a complaint in the world!

Why does Vincent Court feel like home?

I think it’s home because I can be who I am. And everyone around me feels like friends and family.