Friendship group builds strong connections

What started as a Bible study gathering 18 months ago, has grown into a solid friendship group at Bupa Fergusson Care Home in Upper Hutt.

Marie Gunn, local volunteer leads the one hour weekly gathering of 12 men and women and says the group has created lasting friendships amongst the care home residents.

“They really enjoy being able to share their faith but also their family histories and personal experiences. Because of this interaction, the residents have been able to understand the lives of others more and to continue journeying together,” Marie says.

The friendship group begins with a reading and words of encouragement. They also have regular guest speakers and topics based around core faith-based values.

“We’ve had community people come in to share their overseas experiences or interests and visits from local pastors, always with lots of laughter and fun. We also enjoy looking at interesting books with wonderful photos.

Melissa McNamara, Bupa Fergusson Care Home Manager says the group’s success ensures residents keep connected to each other and the community.

“We get lots of great feedback about the friendship group and it’s really important for residents to feel connected,” Melissa says.

Marie’s maltese shitsu dog Honey (pictured) is also a welcome member of the group and gets a lot of the attention from the residents.