St Mark's Anglican Church provides 'fun' for seniors

Sue Sweeney and Doris Herrera ready to pick up people.
Sue Sweeney and Doris Herrera ready to pick up people.

Bingo. No one can leave without bingo being played.

"Always, without fail we have to play bingo because it is their favourite thing to do," said Sue Sweeney, who along with Doris Herrera run the Social and Wellness Centre at St Mark's Anglican Church in Sadlier.

"The seniors get prizes and have a great time."

Sue and Doris have been picking seniors up for a day of planned activities as part of St Mark's respite centre for three and a half years.

They take turns driving the bus across south-west Sydney to pick up eagerly awaiting clients which range in ages from 70s to 90s.

Four days a week, up to eight clients (six on the bus due to COVID-19 restrictions) meet at the centre for morning tea which is followed by "chair aerobics" involving different stretching and leg exercises.

This is followed by a range of different activities which can involve craft or making their own pizzas for lunch.

After lunch, it is bingo with Doris doing the call in English and Spanish.

When asked what the clients get out of it, Doris said: "Fun, because we are fun."

The added benefit is the social element of the outing which finishes with them being dropped off back to their home.

"They got to talk to other people of a similar age and reminisce. We get to hear all their stories which is really lovely," Sue said.

"They exchange numbers and talk on the days they are not here and during lockdown would ring each other. They really enjoy it and so do I. I have never once woke up in the morning and thought 'oh no I have to go to work'."

St Mark's also hosts a Mobile Community Pantry every second Wednesday and will resume in 2021. Shoppers can fill two big shopping bags full of grocery items for just $10.