Helping Hands


Seniors at Silver Chain’s Pendana Social Centre have been getting a helping hand with gardening from some students of Al-Hidayah Islamic School.

The Bentley centre has partnered with the school to teach the students the importance of the environment and the benefits of growing their own fruit and vegetables.

Pendana Social Centre client Nick Panetta, who is blind, said he looked forward to the students visiting.

“It is great having the kids there,” he said.

“They ask questions, and I am able to answer them and teach them.

“I love that they are able to learn from me.” 

Mr Panetta has had an interest in gardening since he was a young man, working in nurseries and now spending his time in the garden through the Social Centre programme.

And while his eyesight has deteriorated, his knowledge of gardening has not.

“We picked watermelons last week, and I was able to tell the children that they were ripe” he said.

“If the little petal on the stem is dead, you can be sure it is ready for them to enjoy.”

Students from the Bentley-based school visit the garden twice a week as part of their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Art) nature inquiry programme.

Teacher Supreeya Megharfi said the project and the interaction with the seniors had been educational for her students.

“This year, the students’ project is ‘My Wonder Garden’, where they will observe, explore the garden environment and gain sensory experiences,” Ms Megharfi said.

“The clients shared their knowledge and experiences with us, and my students learned a lot about the garden,” she said.

Mr Panetta echoed those comments.

“A few weeks ago, a young student came running up to me as I was leaving the garden,” he said.

“She tapped me on the arm and handed me a flower, which really brightened my day.”

Seniors at Silver Chain Group's Pendana Social Centre have been getting a helping hand with gardening from some students…

Posted by Al-Hidayah Islamic School on Monday, 16 September 2019


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