Have you met Frenchy, the Drouin house mascot?

Frenchy helps the Drouin residents celebrate holidays and express their creative sides.

May 15, 2024

There’s nothing better than a house feeling like a home, and that’s precisely how you’ll feel when you step into our Aruma home in Drouin, a town in the West Gippsland region of Victoria.

The residents are joined by “Frenchy, the house mascot,” who (despite being 2D) loves dressing up and celebrating the holidays.

“Last year, our residents embarked on a try-before-you-buy shopping expedition for new recliner chairs. Whilst at the furniture store, Andrew saw a picture of a French Bulldog. Andrew loves dogs and often talks in animal sounds. We all noticed him gravitating towards the picture, and when we joined him, his housemates instantly fell in love with it too. It was a unanimous decision that “Frenchy” had to come home with us to his new forever home,” said Manager Shared Living, Jennifer North.

Frenchy has pride of place on the dining room wall, and everyone enjoys his company whether they are in the room for a meal or just walking by. It wasn’t long until the spooky season rolled around, and Frenchy got his first makeover.

Jennifer shared, “We first decorated Frenchy for Halloween in 2023. It was a spooky and fun activity that started out as a joke, but we all thought it was fantastic. Since then, Frenchy has joined all our celebrations, including birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, and recently ANZAC Day.”

“Decorating Frenchy involves everyone around the kitchen table, art and craft supplies out for selection, and Person-Centred Active Support (PCAS) for residents to cut out shapes from various craft materials. We also go on trips to the community in search of props for Frenchy, fostering a sense of inclusivity and community spirit.”

Aside from decorating the famous house mascot for ANZAC Day, the team also encouraged PCAS to make ANZAC biscuits, get crafty with pom-pom poppies, watch some AFL, and, of course, show their respects to the service men and women.

The housemates, Andrew, Claire, Helen and Sonja, have lived together for several years. Helen and Sonja friendship actually spans over 20 years, and in that time they’ve done many respite holidays together.

“When they are not decorating Frenchy, Sonja enjoys craft activities and attending her job at Vintage Vibes Op shop twice a week. Andrew likes going out to see old cars, and Claire enjoys socialising at Gippy Groovers Disco,” said Jennifer.


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