After a two-year break from Corona, the commercial (KV) apprentices from Implenia Zurich and Aarau were once again able to hold their traditional "social day" in June. 15 young people took the opportunity to spend a day with the residents of the Ruttigen retirement and nursing home.
For the commercial trainees at the Zurich and Aargau branches, who spend 60 to 80% of their time in the office and the rest at school, the "Social Day" has been a fixed point in the training calendar since 2015. The initiative came from Andrea Wyss, vocational trainer from Aarau. "On this day, the young people are not supposed to work efficiently on assignments for a day, but to immerse themselves in a completely different world," she explains. "Every year, I have the feeling that we all come back a little more grounded after the social day."
Andrea Wyss always organises the social day in cooperation with the Ruttigen old people's and nursing home, which she knows from visits to her own grandmother. "With their innovative ideas, the team makes it possible for the sixty or so residents to have a good time in a great environment," she explains. "We are always welcome here with the apprentices."
A seven-hour visit programme
She is supported in organising the visit by the apprentices who plan activities in advance for the seven-hour visit. This year, for example, they made a flower pot out of chenille wire for the rooms in the home, played board games or the party game "Monday Painter", where the players could refresh their knowledge and test it in order to win small gifts such as handkerchiefs, chocolate or a teddy bear if the answers were correct.
This year twenty 85 to over 100 year olds came to spend time with the young people. The residents, delighted with the interest of the apprentices, reminisced and talked about their lives, such as baking with their husband or the place where they grew up. The highlight in the late afternoon was the ice cream cart organised by the young people, which provided everyone with cool refreshments.
Insight into another world
Since the annual Social Day had not taken place in the last two years due to Corona, it was the first visit to the old people's home for all 15 learners. At first, the young people felt a bit uneasy, not quite sure who to sit with or what topics of conversation to choose. It didn’t help that, with many of their hosts a bit hard of hearing, they almost had to shout to be heard. However, the initial insecurity quickly faded and the apprentices got used to the new environment: senior citizens could be seen everywhere spending time with young people.
For the apprentices, this insight into a completely different phase of life was a valuable experience. After all, few take the time in everyday life to listen to the life story of a 90-year-old or to understand the way an older person thinks. Conversely, the home residents also got an impression of the lifestyle of today's youth.
Looking back, it is clear that the Social Day is a day for the apprentices where they not only learn a lot, but also have the opportunity to demonstrate their social skills far away from the daily office routine. Those of the young people who still have one or two apprenticeship years ahead of them, are already looking forward to the next visit.