31 Jul My second family
Antonia Mitchell started off as a kitchen hand at the Italian Support Group nine years ago, but now feels like part of a large, welcoming Italian family.
The Lilyfield group, which supports people over 65 with Italian heritage, is always on her mind – Antonia says she even worries about its members when she’s away on holidays.
“Some of them have lived here for 50 years and worked only with Italian people, or stayed at home raising families and never had a chance to learn English. People like to come and talk to others in their native language. They also love games, quizzes or playing cards. They’re like my second family; I can’t help but think about them and about what they might be doing when I’m not there.”
Although Antonia still wears her chef’s hat and cooks lunches for the group, she’s now also a support worker, helping to organise the get-togethers each week.
“I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be on a Monday,” she says.
The Italian Support Group meets every Monday from 10.30am to 2.30pm at the Lucan Care Community Centre, 158 Lilyfield Rd, Lilyfield. New members are welcome. Please call 1800 864 846 for details.