Plane sailing: kids join the village fold

Villagers fly in support for mental health initiative with paper planes donation

Retirement Living
WATCH AND LEARN: Peter Swain and Irene Varley from Peninsula Villages get tips on how to make paper aeroplanes from a young aviation expert from Wallaby Street Early Learning Centre.

WATCH AND LEARN: Peter Swain and Irene Varley from Peninsula Villages get tips on how to make paper aeroplanes from a young aviation expert from Wallaby Street Early Learning Centre.

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Paper planes will go on display at Newcastle Airport in October as part of Mental Health Month.

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THIS is an intergenerational idea that will fly! Retirement village residents on the Central Coast have joined forces with preschoolers making paper aeroplanes to help people with mental health issues.

Residents at Peninsula Villages in Umina got together with littlies from Wallaby Street Early Learning Centre around the corner in Blackwall to fold and decorate 200 paper planes.

The folded flying creations will be put on display at Newcastle Airport in October as part of Mental Health Month - co-ordinated in NSW, the ACT and Victoria by the not-for-profit organisation WayAhead.

The Peninsula Village planes joined a fleet of others donated by community groups across the region.

HIGH FLYERS: Residents and preschoolers get ready for take-off.

HIGH FLYERS: Residents and preschoolers get ready for take-off.

Peninsula Villages chief executive officer Shane Neaves said the paper planes conveyed a special meaning for mental health awareness.

"The really special thing about the 200 planes our residents have made and donated is that no two are the same," he said.

"Whether it be their design, colour or markings, each plane is unique.

"The planes we have made are even more special by the intergenerational partnership with the local kids who helped our residents with the folding and making of them.

"The challenges faced by people suffering from mental health conditions are also unique. They can take time, patience and understanding to live with, and hopefully, overcome."

As part of its awareness initiatives for Mental Health Month, Way Ahead encourages people to connect and relieve isolation.

"Whether it be through activities, excursions, or sharing a cup of coffee, the simple act of connecting with others can make such a difference at any stage of life, including later life," Mr Neaves said.

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