School’s cuddly donation delights Brisbane seniors

Kind-hearted primary school students are helping to bring more smiles to the faces of Brisbane aged care residents.

Junior school students from Kelvin Grove State College wanted to support older members of their community, so they decided to raise money for the nearby Carinity Hilltop aged care community.

Kelvin Grove State College student Abbie Duncan and Carinity Hilltop aged care resident Betty Wright with the companion pets.
Abbie Duncan from Kelvin Grove State College and Carinity Hilltop aged care resident Betty Wright with companion pets purchased with money donated by school students.

Abbie Duncan was a member of Kelvin Grove State College Junior School’s student representative council (SRC) which was behind the charitable donation.

“Our SRC teachers asked for us to come up with some ideas for what we could fundraise for, for our free dress day that was coming up, and we wanted to support something in the local community,” Abbie says.

“I knew the residents in aged care had been in lockdown and had been doing it tough during COVID, so we thought it would be a good idea to help them by fundraising.”

The school students raised almost $700, enabling Carinity Hilltop to purchase three new companion pets for their residents.

“Companion pets are life-like electronic devices which move and sound like real animals and respond to petting and hugging,” Carinity Hilltop Diversional Therapist Lois Healy says.

“They provide great comfort and joy for older seniors.”

Abbie says Kelvin Grove State College holds free dress days for students each term, with money raised supporting local community groups, charities and environmental projects.

“I think it’s important to be involved and be a part of the community because we’re all neighbours,” Abbie says.

The school is currently hosting a contest for students to name one of the companion pets, a dog.

“Our residents and staff thank the school students for their very generous donation. We look forward to more collaborations in the future,” Carinity Hilltop Residential Manager Ramandeep Gill says.

When she leaves school, Abbie hopes to become a medical engineer designing medical equipment, some of which may be used in aged care settings in the future.

Abbie Duncan with a companion pet which Kelvin Grove State College students will name with a contest at the school.
Abbie Duncan holds the companion pet which Kelvin Grove State College students will name as part of a contest at the school.

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