If Footscray Hospital visitors notice a few more eye-catching sights around the grounds this year, it’s Braybrook students from Caroline Chisholm Catholic College they have to thank.
Students undertaking the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning have been taking part in a beautification program at the hospital, the first project of its type at the hospital in its 60-year existence.
College organiser Tony Prosia said the project was delivering many benefits for the students and the hospital, giving the kids hands-on learning.
“The students have been involved with designing, planning and liaising with their mentors at the hospital to make the spaces more friendly and beautiful,” Mr Prosia said.
“Part of the VCAL program involves community service, so when the hospital contacted us it was a perfect fit.
“We originally planned for them [students] to spend two hours there every second Friday … but they’re going above and beyond and spending longer there because they enjoy it.”
The 19 students’ efforts include updating the hospital’s garden area, emergency department, outside courtyard and the rooftop visitors space over the coming months.
Hospital volunteers co-ordinator Karin Haufe-Stellini said it was an important step for the hospital in building a relationship with the students and the broader community.
“Some students only have had negative experiences in hospital,” she said.
“This is a way for them to feel positive and that they have helped others who are not well.”