Celebrating seniors in Yarra with a bespoke festive afternoon tea experience

Friday 27 November 2020

Woman packing gifts into boxes
Photo credit: Naomi Lee Beveridge

Older residents in Yarra are in for a treat this Christmas.

Yarra Council has joined forces with food experience experts Long Prawn to create a unique out of the box Christmas experience. 

Like so many things this year, COVID-19 restrictions have put a damper on Council’s annual Aged Care festive three-course lunch. Instead we have created gift boxes filled with afternoon tea treats.  

Yarra Mayor Councillor Gabrielle de Vietri said everyone who receives services through the Commonwealth Home Support program will receive a hand delivered box from Yarra Council staff. 

“We recognised pretty early on that this festive season was going to look very different to previous years,” Cr de Vietri said. “Throughout the pandemic we have had to adapt and change the way we deliver services to our community and this is yet another example of this.”

By happy coincidence Collingwood Yards based foodies, Long Prawn, happened to be looking for a way to reach out to isolated members of the community and were eager to collaborate with us on this project.  

The Long Prawn team said they were “born from wanting to connect people through an unexpected food experience." 

"We worked with local businesses to create custom treats specifically for this project and collaborated with Melbourne artist A.Kid for the artwork inside the packs - to give seniors something curated and specifically designed for them."  

Each gift box contains two types of tea, a selection of biscuits, a screen printed tea towel and a festive greetings card. 

Local business Keep Cup has also provided reusable cups to encourage seniors to venture outside and enjoy a tea and a walk.  

There is also an invitation to join Yarra staff for a chat in small groups via our Cuppa Tea Hotline.  

Cr de Vietri said more than 1000 gift boxes, assembled by volunteers, will be delivered during the next few weeks. 

"I’m honoured to have the opportunity to help with this fantastic initiative,” she said. 

"The past few months have been particularly lonely and isolating for many of our older residents. While we have been keeping in touch with regular phone calls and newsletters this is a more personal way of letting people know we are here for them.” 

The project is a partnership between Yarra City Council Aged & Disability Services, Arts, Culture & Venues, Access Yarra and Long Prawn.

Thanks to Fatto A Mano, Congress, Sweet Greek, Ché Desserts, and Raya Melbourne, for their delicious biscuit contributions.


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