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Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grants Program

The Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grants Program has now closed.

The NSW Government awarded more than $700,000 in funding for projects that reduce social isolation for seniors during COVID-19. This includes $100,000 from the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA) for projects that support their work plan.

24 organisations received funding to deliver innovative programs that help older people connect with each other, through online engagement or other methods that maintain social distancing.

All 24 organisations are progressing and making a difference for seniors in their communities.  A few early good news stories include:

  • the weekly delivery of books, DVDs and craft kits in Cobar by the Cobar Shire Council through their Staying Connected and Keeping Busy project;
  • the provision of 30 ipads equipped with Skype, Zoom and Facetime to hospitals, aged care facilities, and community members in the Hume by the Greater Hume Council to enable communication with family and friends;
  • Liverpool Women’s Health Centre are keeping older Aboriginal women connected through their Checking in on Our Aunties: Keeping Mob Connected;
  • Wollongong University project Living Connected has guided community and service clubs on using virtual meetings and catch-ups;
  • Cass Care are providing social and emotional support to Chinese and Korean speaking seniors through their “Connecting Seniors with no Boundary” project and have launched a Zoom activity group; and
  • Muslim seniors from seven language groups are benefitting from a dial in service operated by Hope by Human Appeal.

Please see the successful grants recipients page for more information and contact details.

Grants were available for organisations to create programs that foster social inclusion for seniors. Activities must help older people connect with each other through online engagement or other ways.

These grants aim to combat social isolation for seniors during COVID-19, while maintaining the current social distancing advice. It provided one-off grants for organisations to provide quality social connection opportunities for seniors.

For a program to be eligible, it needed to be aimed at people aged 65 years and over or for Aboriginal people, aged 55 years and over.

How programs are delivered

The 24 successful grant recipients will deliver programs through online or other approaches that maintain social distancing. The programs must be available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to the end of 2020. The target cohort for this grant is seniors who are socially isolated or at risk of isolation and loneliness.

We supported initiatives that:

  • effectively address social isolation for seniors  while reducing the risks from COVID-19
  • actively attract seniors who are socially isolated, or at risk
  • can start immediately, or in a very short timeframe, by extending current capacity, systems and networks
  • have a wide geographic spread, regionally or locally focused, community driven and online
  • can show business continuity planning to keep the project running until the end of 2020
  • give value for money, in terms of overall costs and the outcomes and benefits.

More information

For information about the program please see the successful grants recipients page or read the Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grants Program Guidelines.

If you have any questions, please email

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Last updated: 09 Sep 2020