Morning tea fosters community connections

A Margaret River campus initiative has made a real difference to the lives of people in the community, thanks to students and lecturers of the aged care, hospitality and cookery courses.

The idea came from Margaret River Cookery Lecturer Gita Hofmann-Ketharanathan, who read in the news how morning tea get-togethers were connecting communities in NSW and combating isolation and loneliness in the elderly.

Gita recognised the opportunity for a similar collaborative event, with students of other courses, for local people. With hospitality and cookery students, and Aged Care Lecturer Leisa Prangnell and her group of students on board, the Intergenerational Morning Tea was born.

Consideration was given to dietary requirements, such as foods that some seniors find easier to swallow, and the nutritional value as well as the taste – and the indulgence factor.

Tables were beautifully set in the Gather&Feast restaurant and a varied and enticing morning tea of savouries, sweet treats and the essential scones was presented to the gathering.

Customers from local aged care facilities as well as children and their parents from the local community filled the room with chatter and laughter.

Judging by feedback from the children and seniors, the event achieved its objective with flying colours.

A typical comment from one of the seniors was: “Beautifully organised with mixed groups. Delicious food and coffee. I really do think it’s an excellent morning tea to do, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you all.”

Another said: “Lots of chat and laughter, a brilliant idea.”

A child wrote: “Very good service and you were very polite. I really liked the smoothie and the food was great, especially the scones.”

No doubt encouraged by the vibe of the day and the overwhelmingly positive comments from those who attended, the students and lecturers are planning a similar session for Semester 2.