Josh, 17, lights up lives of Juniper Hayloft residents - Juniper
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Josh, 17, lights up lives of Juniper Hayloft residents

When 17-year-old Harrisdale Senior High School student Josh Lubbe arrives at Juniper Hayloft Residential Aged Care Home in Martin every Friday, his presence conjures collective smiles from residents.

“Josh we’ve missed you,” one resident, who is smiling from ear-to-ear, cries.

“Is it Friday already?” another resident declares, with another adding: “Josh is here!”

It’s no surprise that residents light up whenever Josh walks into a room – for the past 18 months he has visited every week as part of his student placement at Juniper Hayloft while completing his Certificate IV in Nursing, which is part of the Vocational Education Training (VET) program he is undertaking through Harrisdale Senior High School.

During his student placement, Josh supports Hayloft’s lifestyle therapy team by assisting with a range of activities for residents which are run both inside and outside the home.

“For me, I basically entertain the residents,” Josh said. “So we go for walks, we play games, we do activities – so anything fun really. I get to come up with ideas, so one week we did a board games morning where we made our own games, so we get to have a lot of fun.”

His favourite activity with residents is going for walks, where he can enjoy the outdoors while listening to them reminisce the years gone by.

“I love going on walks outside, that’s my favourite, because I like getting out and about,” he said.

“I love talking to them and hearing their stories about when they were younger. They love to tell me about when they were younger, what they did, what they liked. They would tell me how they’d leave school young and go get jobs, so their life was very different to how life is today.”

Josh’s interest in nursing stemmed from a childhood dream of becoming a paramedic, and thanks to his experience so far at Juniper Hayloft, he said it has it’s a career path he wants to pursue once he graduates.

“When I was a kid, I wanted to be a paramedic, I remember thinking that when I was watching the ABC show Operation Ouch,” he said.

“So for me, doing a Certificate IV in Nursing will help me achieve that, and I’m able to do it through the school without doing my ATAR.

“So when I finish high school, I’ll be able to use my certificate to get into university to study paramedicine.”

Despite plans to study at university once he graduates, Josh is open to the idea of working at Juniper Hayloft once school finishes.

“I’d really like to start working here after I leave school,” he said.

“The team here are really supportive and make it really enjoyable every time I come here.”

Juniper Hayloft Lifestyle Coordinator Janelle Johnson said Josh was a great addition to the team and always brings a big smile and a positive attitude when he comes to the home.

“Josh really is well liked by many of the residents here and interacts well with them all,” Janelle said.

“We’re really lucky to have such an enthusiastic young man on our team.”