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Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program - Round One and Round Two

In 2021, the NSW Government awarded $1.200,000 in funding for fifty projects to reduce social isolation for seniors.

In Round Two, twenty-four organisations received funding to deliver locally-driven projects, programs or activities that foster social inclusion for older people. You can find details of their projects below.

For more information on the grant program please visit the main Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program page.

For a list of successful Round One grant recipients please visit the Successful Grant Recipients - Round One page.

Cessnock City Council

Creating Connections: Including Making and Keeping Memories in a Digital Age

This project involves the provision of twenty one-hour friendly technology workshops along a "memories and connection" theme. In addition we would hold four community history walks with our Local History Librarian and a catered picnic for seniors at each. We would hold two walking history events and picnics at two of our local historically significant sites - Bridges Hill and Chinaman's Hollow.

This project operates in Cessnock, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas

For more information, please contact susan.davy@cessnock.nsw.gov.au.

Counterpoint Community Services

Tea and Tellers

“I’m going to Memory Lane. Wanna come?” ‘Memory Lane’ is a weekly story-sharing workshop designed to provide isolated seniors with a community, a voice, and a meaningful space to be heard. Conducted over the magic of morning tea and facilitated by theatre-maker and storyteller, Bethany Simons, this project will build seniors’ confidence, expression and creativity by fostering social connection through conversation. Delivered as a ten-week program in three locations across Sydney, Memory Lane will target senior public housing residents. Story contributions will be curated into printed booklet, audio and film outcomes to celebrate and preserve the wisdom of local elders.

This project operates in Sydney.

For more information, please contact a.antonelli@coutnerpointcs.org.au.

Cumberland City Council

Seniors Foodies Club

Holding 15 seniors foodies sessions across five wards. At the sessions seniors will enjoy a cooking demonstration by our multicultural chefs at local restaurants and enjoy a meal. At these intimate events seniors will meet other seniors that share a love for food. They will learn/ share cooking techniques, taste new cuisines or simply enjoy a dish together. We'll target isolated food lovers that will connect, make some new friends, feel empowered whilst sharing dining experiences. We will target restaurants that feature menus/ dishes from our main community language groups/ food: Asian, Middle Eastern, Sub Continental. Ensure accessibility, provide support.

This project operates in Cumberland, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact jaqueline.andres@cumberland.nsw.gov.au.

Dunghutti Elders Council

Reducing Social Isolation for Dunghutti Elders by Travelling to Country

The project aims to take senior members of the Dunghutti community who live in the Mid North Coast town of Kempsey out onto Country in groups of twenty at a time. Members will share stories and language together on the traditional lands of the Dunghutti Nation and take the opportunity to fish at beaches, creeks, and rivers. Transport will be via the twenty-two-seater Community Bus already owned by the Dunghutti Elders Council. Trips will be made fortnightly with different groups of people over the course of the year, with a total of around one hundred members of community benefitting.

This project operates in Kempsey, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas

For more information, please contact admin@decac.com.au.

Eleanor Dark Foundation

Literary Links - a Social Inclusion Program for Regional and LGBTIQA+ Writers Over 65 Years Living in NSW

In a program designed to build enduring connections and reduce social isolation, seniors will develop their creative writing skills in a welcoming, inclusive environment.

The program includes:

  • A six-week in-person writing group specifically for twelve seniors from the Central West region (Lithgow)
  • A two-week intensive online writing course specifically for twelve seniors who identify as LGBTIQA+
  • A special social event at the 2022 Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival, enabling all twenty-four participants to meet and attend Festival events together
  • The set-up of two ongoing writers groups, one in-person and one online, designed to be self-managed and self-sustaining

This project operates in all NSW (LBTIQA+) and Lithgow (Central West), and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas
  • Seniors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or asexual (LGBTIQA+)

For more information, please contact rebecca@varuna.com.au.

Exodus Youth Worx

Seniors Community Connect

We are seeking the opportunity to enhance those senior members of our community and into greater far-reaching areas who have been impacted by COVID-19, and the everyday effects of social isolation.  We seek to offer and be of service to our seniors by developing and creating regular programs that uplift, reconnect and provide opportunity for them to reintegrate into the community.   We believe the introduction and engagement for our seniors to become involved in our regular fortnightly social groups, art therapy, movement classes, external outings and guest-speaker presentations fundamentally reduces the risk of continued social isolation for our seniors.

This project operates in Bayside and Georges River, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact sarah@exodusyouthworx.org.au.

Great Community Transport

Aboriginal Community Connection Project

Western Sydney is proudly home to one of the largest and most diverse populations of first nations people in Australia.  The Aboriginal Community Connection Project will generate social connection and improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal community members over the age of fifty through an innovative process of relationship building, service provision and co-design.

The project will engage local Aboriginal elders, Aboriginal led organisations and Aboriginal community groups in planning and delivering a program of social outings, leading into a series of co-design events, and finally a pilot phase testing a community driven solution to social isolation.

This project operates in Blacktown, Blue Mountains and Penrith, and targets the following priority group:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over

For more information, please contact heatherc@activecarenetwork.org.au.

Holdsworth Community

Outreach Program: Breaking Barriers for Seniors in Social Housing in South-Eastern Sydney

Holdsworth's Outreach Program connects with elderly people living in public housing in Randwick LGA, to provide life changing social support services, breaking through barriers of isolation, mistrust, lack of knowledge and inequity.

Partnering with social housing hubs with local experience to run a forty week, six bi-weekly multi-hub rolling sub-programs, of group morning teas, to pinpoint individual needs and share information whilst building enduring relationships & trust.

By supporting participants to link to tailored social support services (transport and wellbeing groups, meals and support packages), our vision is to create long lasting social connection opportunities & reduce isolation for residents.

This project operates in Randwick, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact joujou.faulkner@holdsworth.org.au.

Hornsby Shire Council

Hello Hornsby: Connecting Seniors in Hornsby Shire

This project aims to provide opportunities for Seniors to connect with other Seniors and with our diverse and exciting community, all while having fun.  We will host a series of monthly events (with an emphasis on recreation, education and wellbeing), held in different locations across Hornsby Shire, that encourage people to step outside their door and comfort zone to try something new. The aim will be to reduce isolation in our Seniors by providing a variety of opportunities to get to know other Seniors, their neighbours and their community.

This project operates in Hornsby, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact sdowning@hornsby.nsw.gov.au.

Hume Community Housing Association

Hume Seniors' Hubs

Hume Seniors' Hubs will address social isolation and loneliness for older people who live in social housing within the Maitland & Port Stephens LGAs. Vulnerable seniors will connect with each other and with their communities as they engage with the range of activities offered at their local Hub. Meaningful programs will enhance the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of participants. With ongoing support from Hume, the three Hubs will be self-managed and run on a day to day basis by volunteer members, providing opportunities for senior participants to find purpose by contributing existing skills and developing new skills.

This project operates in Maitland and Port Stephens, and targets the following priority group:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas

For more information, please contact marnie.fitzpatrick@humehousing.com.au.

Inner West Neighbour Aid

Living Well with Dementia

The Living Well with Dementia program will encapsulate wellness workshops, outings and morning teas. They will support people living with dementia and their carers and primarily take place at the 5 Senses Garden, Rhodes Park. The workshops will have a focus on art, music, horticulture, mindfulness and technology. The outings will be organised to suit participants needs and interests as well as integrating celebrated days and cultural events.

This project operates in Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Inner West and Strathfield, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact maja@iwna.com.au.

Lismore City Council (Richmond Tweed Regional Library)

The Social Circle

Centred around the library's extensive local history collection, we would like to establish a relaxed weekly social group for seniors.  Along with exploring the local history, activities would include games and craft activities, guest speakers, tech projects and shared activities with local preschool children.  Refreshments would be served and activities could evolve according to the wishes of participants.   With laptops we could update participants online skills and introduce platforms such as Facebook and 3D online collections.  Lessons in technologies such as Zoom could equip participants for times when they cannot join us in person.

This project operates in Ballina and Lismore, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas

For more information, please contact jackie.birch@rtrl.nsw.gov.au.

Liverpool Women's Health Centre

Craft and Connections

Liverpool Women's Health Centre will hold regular weekly craft based group sessions aimed at re connecting local diverse senior women with their community in a fun, supported, friendship focused atmosphere. Once trust is built, the women will be also be provided with referrals matched to their holistic health requirements, such as consultations with doctors, naturopath, acupuncture, counselling or case work services and/or externally to other agencies. By connecting with needed services, attending regular activities and building friendships, women will create meaningful and lasting support networks, regain control of their health and wellbeing, sparking both joy and empowerment in their lives.

This project operates in Liverpool City, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact kate.meyer@health.nsw.gov.au.

Maitland City Council

Conversations: Art & Dementia Community Days, Outreach and Online Activities

Conversations is a community art project addressing the challenge of social isolation for older people. It includes free creative, social visits of exhibitions, outreach and online activities for people living with dementia and their carers, creating opportunities for people to connect with each other. A trained Facilitator uses art as a trigger for discussion and art making, while online activities become a tool for participants and facilities to use independently in groups, increasing self-determination and connection. Over twelve months, our enhanced program will engage one hundred new participants in forty Gallery sessions, outreach to four care facilities, and be accessible online.

This project operates in Maitland, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact celeste.aldahn@maitland.nsw.gov.au.

Moree Plains Shire Council

Big Sky Libraries Seniors Connect

The Big Sky Libraries Senior Connect program targets older persons in and around Moree and actively engages them in a range of creative and lifestyle activities that fosters social interaction, improves their verbal and digital communication skills and allows them to manage their anxiety through body awareness and management of fine motor skills, visual perception and coordination.

This project operates in Moree Plains, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas

For more information, please contact alisa.akins@mpsc.nsw.gov.au.

The Multicultural Network

Let’s Get Talking Seniors Program

To engage and increase the capacity to connect seniors living in the South West Sydney LGA who may be experiencing loneliness and social isolation due to COVID-19. This will be achieved by facilitating group sessions for CALD seniors (65+) with a program of activities such as trivia, movie night and bingo in their own language. The aim of this initiative is for seniors to build new relationships, initiate topic discussions with other seniors and share their own experiences along with helping them navigate the changes of growing older and how they can be more independent while living in their own homes.

This project operates in Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool City and Liverpool Plains, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds

For more information, please contact map@tmn.net.au.

Penrith City Council

Digital Literacy Mentoring Program for Isolated Seniors

In partnership with LEEP Council will deliver ten Digital Literacy Mentoring Workshops for Isolated Seniors through community centres in five priority locations. LEEP mentors will work alongside individual seniors to develop strong relationships that will extend beyond the life of the program. Participants will gain skills and confidence in using digital devices to better connect with their local community, family and friends, and access a range of social and support services to more fully participate and feel included in their area. Digital devices will be available free for seniors to borrow from their local community centre after the project finishes.

This project operates in Penrith, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds

For more information, please contact lila.kennelly@penrith.city.

Penrith Performing and Visual Arts

Morning Makers at Penrith Regional Gallery

Local seniors are invited to meet together for a social art making workshop, followed by morning tea in the beautiful Lewers Heritage Garden. Lead by local digital media artists, the collaborative and engaging workshops will incorporate everyday technologies, building digital literacy across a range of devices and platforms. Partnering with our local council and community organisations, to reach Seniors experiencing social isolation, the program will also be championed by the Friends of the Gallery group, which is made up of local seniors with a passion for art.

This project operates in Penrith, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact toby.chapman@penrith.city.

SNPHN Ltd (Sydney North Public Health Network)

Connections for Carers

Connections for Carers will provide opportunities for social connectedness through a series of themed social activities during 2022. These activities will be designed to bring seniors who are carers together socially and for wellbeing initiatives to provide togetherness, reduce isolation and to facilitate access to social networks, health and well-being services and support.

This project operates in Northern Beaches, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact kpike@snhn.org.au.

South West Community Transport

From Within Four Walls to the Great Outdoors

From within four walls to the great outdoors project targets CALD seniors 65 years and over, residing in Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield, Liverpool and Wollondilly local government areas. South West Community Transport aims to reduce the risk of social isolation by introducing CALD specific social events and outings to keep them connected with their community. Focusing on three of the prominent languages in South West Sydney - Vietnamese, Arabic and Hindi, - we intend to hold monthly social outings allowing CALD seniors the chance to make strong social connections and get them out of the four walls of their homes.

This project operates in Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Liverpool City and Wollondilly, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds

For more information, please contact bdm@swct.com.au.

St Vincents Clinic

Seniors Making Sustainable Community Connections

Community Connections is a major Program Expansion that will provide greater services to more socially isolated seniors over 65, (50% CALD) particularly those exiting healthcare and/or waiting for aged care places. Growing out of a single intervention program into this diverse suite of multiple offerings, it will be distinguished by its capacity to address multiple barriers to participation leading to more sustainable impact. It gives clients a very high degree of control over the services they receive and the way they receive them. It has great flexibility to pivot delivery between virtual and face-to-face services, in line with COVID-related health advice.

This project operates in Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Greater Hume, Hornsby, Hunter's Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Liverpool City, Mosman, Northern Beaches, North Sydney, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby and Woollahra, and targets the following priority group:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact pmccarthy@opensupport.org.au.

Temora Shire Council

Learning - Laughing - Loving

Our project will deliver an opportunity for thirty participants a month (fifteen per fortnight) to come together at the new Temora Rural Art Centre and try a creative activity free of charge. Participants will learn new creative skills, hear information from service providers and make new connections in a safe and inclusive environment. (Morning/afternoon tea provided). The project will culminate with a public exhibition in December showcasing the creative outcomes from the classes together with phots of the participants working together at the Temora Rural Art Centre Learning – longer, Laugher – louder and Living – Larger in Temora NSW.

This project operates in Temora, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness
  • Seniors who are carers

For more information, please contact agay-mccrone@temora.nsw.gov.au.

WILMA Women's Health Centre

Fit, Fun and Fab for Over 50's

Fit, Fun and Fab for Over 50's is a program created especially for seniors living with mobility issues, or those with a disability, chronic disease or mental illness.  The program aims to create a safe inclusive environment where women can come and meet new friends, share some fun and try different types of gentle exercises. Each sixty-minute class is led by a qualified exercise instructor and combines seated and standing movement sequences. The program will run in blocks of eight weeks, over twelve months and includes exercise such as Chair Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba Gold and gentle exercise with weights.

This project operates in Campbelltown, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness
  • Seniors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer or asexual (LGBTIQA+)

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

Wollongong City Council

ACTIVATE - To Connect

The delivery of a well-being program at Council's outdoor fitness equipment (OFE). The program will facilitate opportunities for seniors to connect and engage with each other while learning how to use OFE safely to build strength, balance and flexibility; three essential functions for older people to age well.

This project operates in Wollongong, and targets the following priority groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over
  • Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds
  • Seniors living with disability, dementia, chronic disease or mental illness

For more information, please contact abradford@wollongong.nsw.gov.au.

More information

For further information about the grant program please see the main Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program page.

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Last updated: 01 Sep 2022