A recently formed mums' group has popped up in Vic Park and Surrounds, and Southern Chronicles went along to check it out.
Vic Park local Elisa started the group after deciding her children needed a local Nana, as her family lives overseas. She put up a request post in her local Buy Nothing group, and received so many replies, she realised there was an enormous need in the community to connect the elderly and very young: and so Adopt a Nana began.
I spoke to Natalie who co-runs the group: "It's a lovely way to connect. There's joy and happiness when our kids interact, and they get to spend time with a different generation. Meanwhile the mums can relax together a bit because they're not constantly watching the kids. It's a lovely energy."
Nanas soak up the time with the bubs. Many live far from their grandchildren, or do not have any. Others find that they just miss intergenerational contact with the young, especially those living in retirement villages and homes. The day I dropped down to meet them, there was a Pop there, who'd been brought by his carer from a nursing home, just to enjoy the children's songs and playing. They had a program at the home before COVID, where the local playgroup centre used to visit the elderly. The program was put on hold, and remains that way to date.
Pauline was the first person to answer Elisa's call for a Nana for her youngster, and she says her daughter and Pauline connected straight away. Her daughter talks about Pauline and looks forward to seeing her. Pauline doesn't have grandchildren, and her own children have grown and left. She used to spend a lot of time with children, and she misses that connection, and looks forward to every catch up.
The group hold a playdate each week. Venues include local parks and the Victoria Park Community Garden. There are regular Music 'n' Boogie sessions led by Elisa in costume (she is a professional children's entertainer aka JellyTots). They have puppets, bubbles, tambourines and instruments, and sing and dance until everyone is worn out and ready for a nana nap.
If you'd like to take part, contact them on their Facebook page: Adopt a Nana Victoria Park WA and Surroundings, or call Elisa 0478 782 841. The admin team currently comprises Elisa, Belle and Nat, but they're looking to expand the team. If you're interested, get in touch.