The Jacaranda Social Club is a program that offers social, creative, and group activities to people aged over 65, and to people from the ATSI community aged over 50. The club aims to strengthen community bonds and provide fun opportunities for our local citizens, with activities including coffee catch-ups, pottery and ceramics classes, creative arts programs, musical entertainment, bus outings, gardening, local history talks, ‘Mind, Body and Balance’ exercise classes, drumming, choir, and more.
The current Coordinator of the Jacaranda Social Club, Stephanie Watts, has been welcomed as an employee of HNG, and is very supportive of the changes ahead.
HNG has taken on board the bulk of Stephanie’s previous admin duties, freeing her up to focus on supporting more people with the Jacaranda Club. She is excited to be instigating new activities into the program, such as a massive extension of their creative classes to include unique crafts like yarn-bobbing, china painting, making wall-hangings and more. For Steph, the most important thing is making the program interesting, exciting, and age-appropriate. “It’s not busy-work or child’s play,” she explain. “Our Jacaranda members are adults; they’re treated as adults with activities that reflect that.”
Stephanie is also furthering the “Sing Out!” Community Choir. Singing has proven benefits for people who have suffered from a stroke, Parkinson’s or dementia, so the choir is a great opportunity for members to express themselves in a relaxed team environment.
Another new addition to the club will be a ballroom dancing class for people with Parkinson’s disease. Stephanie hopes to receive training in this, explaining it would be a unique opportunity within our community. Members could receive the health benefits that come from dance, such as strength-building, flexibility, and coordination skills, while also enjoying the social stimulation that the Club provides.
As Stephanie describes, the Jacaranda Social Club plays an important role in our community — not just for members, but for their family members and carers as well. She hopes that HNG may one day be able to use its regional reach to open new Jacaranda Clubs across New South Wales, and further promote their message of maintaining a happy, healthy, and high quality life into old age.
“The Jacaranda Social Club offers real, meaningful activities to the community,” Stephanie says. “We can’t wait to start rolling out new classes. There will be plenty more exciting things to come.”
The Club will be remaining in Hughes House, where members have already made memories. The only changes people will notice will be positive ones.