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Successful grant recipients

Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grants Program

The NSW Government has 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 have received funding to deliver innovative programs that help older people connect with each other, through online engagement or other methods that maintain social distancing.

Successful grant recipients

Bangalow Men's Shed Incorporated

Bangalow Addressing Social Isolation in COVID-19 for Seniors (BASICS)

Fourteen Bangalow organisations have come together to establish a centralised call-centre targeting social isolation and loneliness amongst seniors. The centre will coordinate support services to supply pre-cooked meals, issue cash vouchers for basic needs, distribute fresh vegetables and produce and supply firewood and warm clothing to seniors.

For more information, please contact 2479basics@gmail.com

Bellingen Shire Council

Connect and GO GO GO

Bellingen Neighbourhood Care Network, Community Radio 2bbb and Bellingen Council libraries will jointly:

  • connect isolated seniors through 'Have a Chat' regular phone and online conversations
  • provide preloaded devices and librarian telephone support to connect seniors with limited online access
  • provide an online and community radio broadcast of life story interviews with seniors.

For more information, please contact council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au

CASS Care Ltd

Connecting Seniors with no Boundary

The project will provide social and emotional support to Chinese and Korean speaking seniors aged over 65 in metropolitan Sydney and Wollongong who are isolated at home because of COVID-19. Volunteers will make individual and group contact with seniors through telephone, social media platforms, Zoom, and Youtube.

For more information, please contact winnie_huang@cass.org.au

Cobar Shire Council

Staying connected and keeping busy

Cobar Shire Council will reach out to isolated seniors via weekly phone calls. The conversations will provide regular wellbeing check ins, and help keep minds busy during isolation. The council will also arrange for library books and craft activities to be delivered to seniors’ homes.

For more information, please contact mail@cobar.nsw.gov.au

Community Housing Ltd

Better Together (social connection during physcial distancing)

This project will offer a combination of online, telephone and offline connection opportunities for seniors. Seniors in regional areas, particularly social housing tenants, will be connected with local groups and activities, supported to develop technology skills and take advantage of diverse activities as a result of digital inclusion initiatives bridging geographical divides.

For more information, please contact BetterTogether@chl.org.au

Dance for Parkinson's Australia Ltd

Creating in Place and Dancing Through the Wire

Dance for Parkinson’s NSW will counter the physical divide by creatively connecting communities across the state. The project will include:

  • adapting dance classes to online formats
  • bespoke at-home DanceLabs linking rural and urban communities
  • piloting a free descriptive telephone class
  • technical and social support.

For more information, please contact dance@dancepdau.org

FORM Dance Projects

Together We Dance

Together We Dance is a digital initiative by FORM Dance Projects to enable seniors over 65 and people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in Western Sydney, to connect and socialise through physical and creative activities.

For more information, please contact admin@form.org.au

Greater Hume Council

Seniors Staying Connected In Times of Isolation

The project will reduce isolation and loneliness by bringing seniors and the community together during COVID-19 and beyond. It will be geographically spread across the rural location of Greater Hume Council. The project will use online communication tools as well as other methods for social connection.

For more information, please contact skane@greaterhume.nsw.gov.au

Human Appeal Australia Community Care Limited

(Helping Older People Engage) H.O.P.E in Isolation for Muslim Seniors

Multilingual volunteers will conduct social support video and phone calls with isolated Muslim seniors throughout Sydney. The H.O.P.E project will guide, engage and connect Muslim seniors who have access to online technology with other seniors or volunteers. The Walk-While-We-Talk initiative will be offered to seniors with limited online access or capability.

For more information, please contact care@humanappeal.org.au

Inner West Council

Get Connected Stay Connected (Online and Beyond)

The Inner West Council will deliver a suite of online programs for seniors, designed to create social connection, improve wellbeing, and target loneliness and mental health during sustained isolation. The project will feature an eight week Oral History Wellbeing Program, Keeping Connected Phone Link service, and online creative activities facilitated by mental health professionals, art therapists and group facilitators.

For more information, please contact seniors@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

Lachlan Shire Council

Home and Community Care Newsletter

Lachlan Shire Council will introduce an interactive fortnightly newsletter featuring interviews with residents across the shire, photos, puzzles and exercise plans. Residents will contribute by sharing stories, recipes and interests. Responses to this will be published in the following week’s newsletter. Staff and volunteers will contact clients through the fortnight to complete puzzles together and discuss the newsletter’s content.

For more information, please contact hacc@lachlan.nsw.gov.au

Little Bay Coast Centre for Seniors Incorporated

Project "Hello"

Project "Hello" is a multi-layered seniors support project in South Eastern Sydney. It will offer phone, mail and digital engagement to isolated seniors through trained multilingual volunteers. Seniors can access a monitored hub 12 hours a day, every day, and be referred to services.

For more information, please contact manager@coastcentre.org.au

Liverpool Women's Health Centre

Checking in on our Aunties: Keeping Mob Connected

Checking in on our Aunties: Keeping Mob Connected is a regular, purposeful and friendly yarn between Liverpool Women's Health Centre’s Koori specific worker and local senior Koori women. It provides proactive information and referral, community connection and kindness to break down loneliness and isolation using a trauma informed, culturally appropriate approach.

For more information, please contact SWSLHD-LiverpoolWomensHealthCentre@health.nsw.gov.au

Living Connected Now Limited

Living Connected Online: supporting seniors’ clubs and groups to continue to meet using  technology

In normal times, seniors thrive on regular social interactions in groups.  Living Connected helps clubs, community groups and families on the south coast from Wollongong to Eurobodalla Shire, to continue to meet virtually. The organisation provides assistance with technical set-up, host engaging sessions and upskills novice users so no-one misses out.

For more information, please contact helenhasan@livingconnected.org.au

Northern Sydney Local Health District

Connect with Elderly Carers through the COVID-19 Pandemic

The project will provide phone and Zoom conferencing facilitated by the Carer Support Service Officer of Northern Sydney Local Health District. Multiple weekly sessions will engage older carers, providing a supported 'virtual space' where they can connect positively, share, learn, laugh, access support and vital information. Facebook support will also be provided.

For more information, please contact NSLHD-Carers@health.nsw.gov.au

Orange City Council

Connect-a-Kit

Connect-a-Kit is an interactive kit project, targeted at seniors living in Orange, that provides opportunities for social interaction, mental stimulation, new activities, and health promotion resources.  Kits will be delivered and exchanged on a fortnightly basis.

For more information, please contact Arodwell@orange.nsw.gov.au

Plantingseeds Projects Limited

Grow Together - Connecting seniors online through gardening

Grow Together is an online social network for seniors focused around sustainable gardening. Social isolation will be addressed through sharing of photos and stories about gardening in the past, present and future. Basic smartphones will be distributed to 300 seniors in Western Sydney with training provided by younger community members.

For more information, please contact grow@ps.org.au

Port Stephens Council

Community Connections

Community Connections is a suite of programs designed to combat social isolation for seniors living in Port Stephens by maintaining and building new human connections between seniors - both virtually and creatively. The proposed activities are informed by the principles of social inclusion, community development and adult learning principles.

For more information, please contact grants@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

Royal District Nursing Service Limited

Optimising Social Connection during the pandemic by Helping Others with Respect and Unity (HOW-R-U?)

HOW-R-U? seeks to address the increased public health concern of seniors in Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie-Hasting and Tweed local government areas experiencing isolation, loneliness and depressive symptoms during COVID-19. We will ameliorate the isolation experienced as a result of physical/social distancing through adapting a proven volunteer-based telephone intervention that improves social connection and overall wellbeing of seniors.

For more information, please contact kstein@boltonclarke.com.au

St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

Keeping Older Rural Australians Connected Through Technology

This project will increase the social and digital connectedness of socially-isolated seniors, living in regional, rural and remote areas. It will provide digital training for platforms such as Zoom, email, WhatsApp video calls and Facebook. The project will enhance seniors’ access to new and established networks (based on their needs and interests), vital information and resources.

For more information, please contact Olga.Yoldi@vinnies.org.au

Uniting (NSW.ACT)

Virtual Get Togethers

The project provides seniors in northern, eastern and western Sydney the opportunity to engage with others who have a common interest, and participate in the activity online or by telephone. The project reduces social isolation and loneliness while also supporting the development of new friendships that can be sustained outside the group.

For more information, please contact ask@uniting.org

Volunteering Wingecarribee Incorporated

Combatting Social Isolation in Wingecarribee

This brings seniors feeling isolated together by phone, local radio and newspaper. Many seniors residing in Wingecarribee are not connected with technology and depend on the basics for communication.

For more information, please contact volwingmanager@gmail.com

Warrigal Care

Connect-19

This project re-engages more than 400 volunteers who have been made inactive due to COVID-19 lockdown and visitor restrictions. It enables them to use their knowledge and experience to provide a range of social engagement opportunities to seniors at risk of isolation and loneliness in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Queanbeyan areas.

For more information, please contact awalsh@warrigal.com.au

Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre

Winanga-Li Elders Link

Winanga-Li Elders Link will ensure that Aboriginal Elders participate in and contribute to their community during their experience of COVID-19 distancing or isolation. Aboriginal seniors in regional communities will be able to access remote social group opportunities and one-on-one support to prevent social disconnection or isolation.

For more information, please contact KateM@winanga-li.org.au

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Last updated: 09 Jun 2020