Austin Denheyer, Taleisha Bridgett, Frank Jarfoi and Issaiah Thommers at “Drumbeat” in Henty last week.Members of the ‘Grandparents doing it tough’ group met in Henty on Friday to take part in a Drumbeat presentation with the grandchildren.
The grandparents and children were taught how to drum by Frank Jarfoi from Centacare who has been living in Wagga for the last five years.
While the days meeting was all about making noise and drumming there is also a therapeutic element.
“It’s not just the music there is a therapeutic aspect to it,” Centacare Post Separation Cooperative Parenting (PSCP) Facilitator Lyn Reilly said.
“They also have a form of identity through using the drums. We all play a different beat but when we play together it becomes something beautiful.
“It is something special for the school and bringing Drumbeat here is great for the school.”
By the grandparents getting involved and having a go they are showing the kids that it isn’t that hard.
Vodeen Graetz, one of the grandparents, was pleased with the event.
“It’s good for the kids to know that there are other kids like them (raised by their grandparents),” Ms Graetz said.
Ms Graetz is raising six of her grandchildren and while the day helped the children it also supports the grandparents just as much by being around people who are in the same position.
“People are quite judgemental and they think that your kids have done something wrong because of you,” Ms Graetz said.
“They are having a fathers day event at school and thats fine when you’ve got a father but when you don’t it’s hard on them. Their friends understand but it’s still hard.”
The idea behind ‘Grandparents doing it tough’ is to support other people in the same position.
Centacare is based in Wagga Wagga but runs events in Henty after they became aware that there was a need for it.
“There are grandparents here and they are fun,” Ms Reilly said.
“It helps them build up their social networks and gives them the opportunity to talk to other grandparents raising their grandkids.”
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