Learn Something New Week Harnesses the Talents of UG Team members

Before Carol Maltby moved into The Village at University Gates in 2017, she’d never taken the time to paint a picture and she’d never tried making sushi. At 80, however, she says she’s still young enough to learn new things so she took advantage of “Learn Something New” week at the Village in mid-January.  

learn something new week at The Village at University Gates
Making sushi was one of the activities during "Learn 
Something New Week" at Universty Gates.

Sushi creation turned out to be her favourite activity, though she never quite warmed up to the flavour, passing her portion along to a friend after she tried her first bite. “I don’t really like sushi but I enjoyed making it,” she says. “It was fun and it was easy. I thought it was great.”

She adds that everything is more fun when there’s a group of people gathered together to take part; that fellowship is what she enjoyed most while learning to arrange flowers, paint or roll and cut Japanese delicacies. “You can learn a lot when you come here,” she says and “it means a lot” that the team spends energy on creative activities for the residents. “It means I’m in a good place,” she says.

Interim recreation director Nicolette Harrow says the team decided they wanted to create a series of activities that would involve residents in every neighbourhood while leaning on the different skills or interests of a variety of team members, including the RIA team next door. 

“We’re trying to get the whole team engaged so we decided with the start of the new year we would try these theme weeks,” Nicolette says, acknowledging that team members in every corner of the Village have much to offer in terms of meaningful activities.

“We really are trying to live our values,” she says, and a central value is the cross-functionality of the team members. Dietary team members can play and important role on Main Street during events, for example, or a housekeeper may have great passion for an activity residents enjoy.

The theme weeks are an opportunity to utilize that diversity, and residents like Carol are grateful for the effort.