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In 2021 and 2022, the NSW Government awarded $1,800,000 in funding for 71 projects to reduce social isolation for seniors.
In Round Three, 21 organisations and local councils 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 and Round Two grant recipients please visit the Successful Grant Recipients - Round One page and Successful Grant Recipients - Round Two page.
Sharing Memory: Elder Family Research is a program of nine sessions for the First Nations Elders of the Bega Valley to come together, socialise and learn new skills in family history research, tracing ancestors and digitising memories so that they can be preserved and shared with future generations.
The sessions will be led by professional librarians who will coach the Elders in basic search skills, specialist tools for First Nations research, photograph and document digitisation and online graphic design tools. The program will allow time for the Elders to practice the new skills in a supported environment and the program will conclude with a social event and exhibition of the memories uncovered.
For more information contact Ms Leanne Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bidhal Elders’ group uses a cultural therapy framework to combat the loneliness and social isolation felt among Aboriginal people over the age of 50. Put simply, cultural therapy promotes using culture as treatment – using Aboriginal people’s cultural and community connections to strengthen wellbeing and foster healing and positive social outcomes for individuals and communities. Bidhal means ‘celebrate’ in Darkinjung language.
Bidhal Elders’ group is a monthly yarning circle that will run alongside community projects designed to become self-sustaining under the auspice of Bidhal. The projects will support Aboriginal Elders to resume leadership roles in the community, keep active and healthy, promote local Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identity, improve the overall quality of their life, and develop the Darkinjung Aboriginal community. These projects are also intended to promote inter-generational knowledge sharing between generations, bringing together our Elders’ group with our youth group and women’s group.
For more information contact Ms Simone Hudson at email@example.com
Helping Seniors Serve is a community-based social engagement project that will reduce social isolation for seniors and provide participants with opportunities to build social capital within their local community. Seniors will be invited to attend and participate in weekly seniors targeted sessions at a community cafe, located on-site at Padstow Community Care, facilitated by staff and volunteers. It is envisaged the cafe setting will encourage social engagement, build connections for seniors with their peers, with staff and volunteers, and act as a pathway to introduce seniors to a range of volunteer opportunities available within Padstow Community Care's various programs and services. Interested participants would then be matched with a volunteering opportunity in an existing service or program that best suits their interests, skill sets and capacity.
Participants will be supported by staff and existing volunteers to utilise their strengths within the service or program, to give back to the community in a constructive and positive manner.
For more information contact Mr Grant Heslop at firstname.lastname@example.org
FLOW will provide opportunities for local seniors to participate in a series of free and varied facilitated workshops. These workshops will include theatre performance, singing, poetry, dance, music and memoir writing, allowing seniors to connect with their community in a safe and inclusive environment.
The workshop participants will work on their chosen craft over a number of weeks before coming together to perform their chosen art at a showcase open to the community to attend.
For more information contact Mrs Shontayne Ward at Sward@temora.nsw.gov.au
The seated, non-strenuous exercise and movement class will use sturdy classroom chairs, light resistance bands for stretching, light dumbbell weights for light lifting and fine motor skills exercises for approximately 45 minutes. There will also be breathing exercises then 15 minutes of quizzes and brain stimulation. To finish, participants will enjoy a scone and cup of barista coffee and some social time.
The participants will be given copies of their exercises to take home and hopefully continue until the next weekly class. The social interaction that occurs afterwards is unlimited - there is no rush to leave. We have grounds to be enjoyed inside and outside and are fully air-conditioned for the cooler and warmer months. We have a nursery that is nice to wander through also. People can stay on for lunch, if they choose, in our cafe.
For more information contact Mrs Carrie-lee Locke at email@example.com
BANC has an existing program called The Hub which is geared towards the wider community and operates mostly out of a hall nearby, with some activities held in other local locations. The Hub provides a variety of different ongoing classes, workshops and events free of charge to the community. These are held on weekly and monthly bases, with some being one-off, but most ongoing.
With the funding we will add a suite of workshops, classes and events tailored specifically for older people, including:
Art therapy workshops, creative art workshops, eco-dyeing workshops, writing workshops; bushfire preparedness workshops, mental health first aid workshops, yoga workshops, environmental workshops, cultural workshops and talks, movement classes, cooking classes, shared reading workshops, making-a-will workshops, saving money on utility bills workshops and social events and dance classes.
For more information contact Ms Jade Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council hosts a series of monthly Café Connections for older people of all abilities across the Camden LGA. The Cafe provides information about health, social and service provisions in a variety of formats. Formats include one-on-one conversations and large print and easy-read resource materials with government and non-government services on how to access information from technology. Prior to the Cafe seniors are offered an activity to participate in including creative workshops, health and wellbeing activities and lifelong learnings.
Cafe sessions run for three hours with set programs to provide opportunity for seniors to attend what they are interested in. Seniors can attend the Cafe anytime between 10am and 11.30am to meet and mix with other residents and engage with services. From 11.30am to 1pm participants can attend the demonstrations, workshops or activities. Catering for the Cafe will provide residents with healthy food options and refreshments.
For more information contact Mrs Lisa Grimson at Lisa.Grimson@camden.nsw.gov.au
Newcastle Libraries offer a suite of activities in a successful, free program called the Memory Room Project. This project is designed specifically for people living with dementia and their family members. It includes fortnightly memory workshops facilitated by an art therapist, a 'Magic Table' offering interactive games for stimulation and engagement, memory kits that can be borrowed, and a podcast series.
We will expand this multifaceted project in two specific ways:
a. Double the number of Memory Room workshops we provide to 40 sessions over the year.
b. Grow the program beyond our library service by creating a marketable Memory Room toolkit for use across NSW Public Libraries.
Public libraries are well placed to provide inclusive services and programs and can play a vital role in helping seniors living with dementia to remain included, accepted and connected to their community. Public libraries have an opportunity to be leaders in reducing social isolation for our seniors.
For more information contact Ms Julie Baird email@example.com
DanceWell is a successful community program supporting seniors to stay healthy and connected to the community. DanceWell is designed for people aged over 65 who live with ongoing mobility concerns and/or chronic illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Arthritis or Dementia.
DanceWell was previously funded by DCJ in the 2021 grant round. Through this funding, Dance Health Alliance (DHA) supported over 60 older people in the northern suburbs of Sydney. DHA continues to provide classes for these participants which are funded through fundraising and local grants.
DanceWell Expansion will expand the program to the LGAs of Bayside and Inner West. DHA Founder Gwen Korebrits, has extensive networks in these areas, and demand exists there for innovative, engaging programs that support older people to connect with their peers and their community, reduce social isolation and ensure ongoing health and mobility.
DanceWell is fully accessible and accommodates people with differing mobility concerns. For example, DanceWell classes can be completed while standing or seated in a chair or wheelchair. DHA takes a continuous improvement approach to its work, constantly seeking participant feedback, then adapting classes to the needs and experiences of each class.
For more information contact Ms Gwen Korebrits at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Intergenerational Art Project is designed to bring together seniors and young adults from our multicultural community using weekly art classes. The aim is to reduce social isolation and encourage a sense of social connectivity.
We plan to run this project four times in each of our four different locations within the Cumberland Council and Fairfield Council areas to increase participation across different ethnic community groups. Seniors from specific ethnic groups such as Burmese and Khmer will be invited to meet young adults from the same heritage background for weekly art classes and have afternoon tea with them in their community area.
Each two-hour art session will accommodate 15 seniors and 15 young adults (30 people in total). Each senior will be paired with a young adult and create a work of art. Having a designated partner means no one will be left on their own and everyone can fully participate in the class.
By bringing people together to learn and engage in activities, our project hopes seniors will develop quality relationships across the intergenerational divide.
For more information contact Ms Hyosil Lee at email@example.com
Covid-19 has caused serious health implications for the Aboriginal communities of Sutherland Shire and St George, particularly in relation to our social and emotional wellbeing and community connectedness. This project will support the continuation of two weekly programs, one for men and one for women. The program will assist our mob with rebuilding social connections in a culturally safe setting. Activities each week will vary but will include things such as yarning circles, art, BBQs, fishing, jewellery making, cake decorating and more. We will be guided by community members attending activities they would like to take part in, empowering them to have involvement in the program.
This program will improve the overall wellbeing of our mob as well as increase community connectedness and reduce feelings of social isolation. As we are also well connected with all services we will also assist participants with any assistance they require accessing services.
For more information contact Ms Wendy French at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentoring Men helps adult men who are experiencing distress or a sense of helplessness by providing free one-to-one life mentoring with a professionally trained volunteer mentor from their local area. Through non-judgmental support and encouragement, our program focuses on proactive prevention by engaging with men who need help before they face a crisis.
Social isolation is the most reliable predictor of suicidal ideation, attempts and lethal suicidal behaviour. These risks are amplified following trauma. Men have smaller social networks than women, less access to informal support through friendships and family relationships and lower levels of social contact and social support. Through participation, socially isolated men will have the opportunity to connect with others from their community, increase their community participation and provide and access support at a local level.
This project will match socially isolated senior men with a volunteer mentor (also a senior man) from their local community. Through participation, senior men will increase their community participation, support each other’s mental health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation. Through joining a Mentor Peer Support Group volunteer mentors will also increase their social connections.
For more information contact Ms Emma Bromley at email@example.com
Building on the success and learnings of Mission Australia Housing’s (MAH) Active Seniors Empowerment (ASE) project supported in Round One 2021 of the Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program, MAH proposes to expand and enhance the diversity of active senior participants and therapeutic senior-requested empowerment services/activities in a concerted effort to reduce isolation and loneliness.
Targeting the identified priority seniors groups across low socio-economic neighbourhoods in the Coffs Harbour LGA, ASE will expand the delivery of evidenced, senior-tailored inclusive therapeutic project activities, whereby reducing social isolation and loneliness, improving quality of life and encouraging healthy, active lifestyles.
ASE Seniors have requested sustainable and equitable healthy ageing activities such as digital inclusion computer and internet skills education, intergenerational mentoring, active ageing seniors exercise groups, expanded therapeutic community garden education, volunteer opportunities and more. Structured and regular ASE sessions will be sustainability supported by our growing team of enthusiastic and empowered seniors volunteers.
For more information contact Mr Davina Lomas at firstname.lastname@example.org
North Shoalhaven Meals on Wheels (NSMoW) provides 40,000 meals per year, to over 400 clients. Based on our knowledge of the vulnerability of many in our community, NSMoW saw the need to commission independent market research on the priority needs of our clients. As a result, NSMoW has identified the need to deliver the Meals Together program which aims to address gaps in social connection, build the resilience of local seniors and create lasting connections. Meals Together is delivered in three components:
For more information contact Ms Angela Pendlebury email@example.com
Connect-a-community will build on the success of the Connect-a-kit program implemented by Orange City Council. Where Connect-a-kit provided monthly activity packs delivered to seniors’ homes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connect-a-community program will expand to bring seniors back into the community to try a new activity each month.
The Council will provide a range of free monthly activities for seniors to try such as aqua aerobics, yoga, croquet, lawn bowls, golf, gardening, photography, regional discovery tours, music, healthy cooking and arts and crafts. Each month will feature a local community group or sporting club and provide seniors with opportunities to connect to local groups and form new social connections.
Connect-a-community will partner with the Seniors Village Hub to access and implement a range of activities for older people. The Seniors Village Hub offers a range of programs that aim to increase wellness and reduce social isolation often experienced by people as they get older. With the partnership formed with the Seniors Village Hub, the connections developed throughout Connect-a-community will continue to thrive once the program has concluded. Connect-a-community will reconnect seniors to the community as well as local community groups, sporting clubs and each other.
For more information contact Ms Louise Geaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Hornsby: Connecting Seniors in Hornsby Shire has been so well received in Hornsby Shire in 2022 we will embrace the opportunity to continue in 2023 and build on the momentum we've created through the Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Round Two Funding program.
Hello Hornsby will continue to provide opportunities for seniors to connect with other seniors and with our diverse and exciting community, all while having fun. We will continue to 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.
For more information contact: Mr Neil Chippendale at NChippendale@Hornsby.nsw.gov.au
The Fit, Fun and Fab for Over 50s program is designed to encourage seniors with mobility issues, a disability, chronic disease or mental illness to engage in gentle exercise while building meaningful connections with their peers.
Each session runs for two hours. The first hour is spent with a qualified exercise instructor who leads the class through seated and standing movement sequences. The second hour is dedicated to socialisation with a facilitator conducting informal check-ins with participants. These informal conversations enable the facilitator to identify participants needing further support and refer them to appropriate community services. After reviewing feedback from current participants, the 2023 program will focus on Chair Yoga and seated exercise. The program will run in blocks of eight weeks, over 12 months.
For more information contact Dr Vanessa Olsen at Manager@wilma.org.au
The Brewarrina Shire Council’s “Bre Towns Coming Together” project for seniors will align with Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2026 to improve social wellbeing, coordinate and support community groups to promote events and activities within the local community. Brewarrina has a high population of Aboriginal people (61.5%) in remote areas. The Traditional Owners and their Nations of the Brewarrina Local Government Area include the Ngemba, Morawari, Barkinji, Kamilaroi, Koamu, Valari, Baranbinja, Wairadjuri and Yualwarri People.
The Community Strategic Plan prioritises Aboriginal wellbeing with appropriate services. This program will focus on keeping our seniors social, not only with a focus on our Aboriginal Elders but also our rural community members located in extremely remote areas of our local government area. The program will provide an arrangement of weekly activities between the three main communities of the shire council area: Brewarrina, Weilmoringle and Goodooga. The project will recognise, celebrate and value the skills and diversity of our ageing population, supporting our over 50s in the Aboriginal community and over 65s non-Indigenous community members. By initiating and supporting community activities, participants will lead a healthier and fulfilling life. Our older community, including our Aboriginal Elders, will be connected, included, informed and empowered.
For more information contact Mr David Kirby at email@example.com
Over 50 weeks, Liverpool City Council will partner with Live Life Get Active to run daily, one hour wellness programs and workshops targeted at seniors aged 65+ within in the Liverpool City Council region. This will be followed by a daily Coffee Club for seniors to share stories and start conversations over a warm beverage.
The aim of Lurnea's Wellbeing and Coffee Club is to provide seniors a safe space for social inclusion, build their confidence and capacity to make better lifestyle choices due to the pandemic heightening isolating and a sense of disconnection from the community.
The upgrade to Phillips Park is being delivered as part of the Western Sydney Parklands City Liveability Program. The redevelopment of Lurnea Community Hub provides residents with access to facilities that help improve their quality of life hence it is an ideal venue of choice for this project.
This project will complement the Liverpool Positive Ageing Plan 2022-2026's action plan developed in accordance to the World Health Organisation Check list of Essential Features of Age-Friendly Cities.
For more information contact Mr Luc Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org
NewConnects and Live Well, Age Well project is a proposed collaboration between three civic organisations: City of Newcastle, Hunter Aging Alliance and Hunter Medical Research Institute. It combines NewConnects workshops and HAA's Live Well Age Well for Wellbeing activities. NCsLWAW will help older people meet people, explore opportunities for community connection, learn, and be active together enjoying their local community.
Comprising of ten practical, creative and informative knowledge modules, tailored for older people, delivered by guest presenters in relaxed, participatory workshop environments fostering social connections, skills and knowledge building. Included is targeted expert advice and skill building for ageing well and managing health and social care needs.
A focus is connecting older people with community groups for sustainable relationships and upskilling community groups to further engage with older people. Providing 'cross-pollination' networking opportunities to connect/reconnect via community-based activities: community gardening, art and textiles, technology, book clubs etc.
Device Advice to Stay Connected is an intergenerational participation incentive component. Small groups pair with a young person upskilling in technology, interaction and increasing on-line safety.
Proposing four workshops in 2023 at HMRI and across Newcastle and nine active outdoor sessions.
For more information contact Ms Petria Jukes at email@example.com
Mornings, Melodies and Memories will be a series of gatherings held across the Bland Shire area specifically for older residents living within village and rural communities. The events will be morning teas at which residents and volunteers will come together to share local history to build connections to last beyond the funded project period. It will also provide a local/regional performer to present songs across the ages which will help those with cognitive challenges to recall events from their past to share with others.
The project funds will be used to employ a part-time activities officer to coordinate the activities, volunteers and participants as well as assist with project costs such as musicians, catering and venue hire when required. This person will collaborate with Council's Community Care services to identify participants and actively engage with them to participate in the morning tea gatherings.
The ultimate outcome of the project will be to establish connections between community members as they share their stories about living within Bland Shire. A secondary outcome will be a recorded collection of local histories which will be made available to the broader community and visitors alike through existing local outlets such as libraries and museums.
For more information contact: Mrs Alison Balind at firstname.lastname@example.org
28 Oct 2022
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.