Warrigal launches 'My Club Connect' - connecting over 60s in the Illawarra

Warrigal has today been joined by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells to launch its newest service to the community: ‘My Club Connect’.

My Club Connect brings together like-minded people from all over the Illawarra, providing access to social groups and special interest clubs to the over 60s with the goal of helping to build stronger regional community into the future.

The project has been made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, with a grant of $68,500, dollar matched by Warrigal. The fund is designed to build the capability of communities to deliver economic and social benefits at a regional level.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said the new service aligns strongly with Warrigal’s vision of older people living great lives.

“This new initiative is all about adding to the social fabric of the Illawarra by providing a special and exclusive service to some of the most important and vulnerable people in our community. We are encouraging social participation, cohesion and even providing a sense of identity with this initiative and we’re very excited about that prospect.

“It’s often people in this cohort that retire and find themselves disconnected from their community or struggling to find ways to connect with like-minded people. This new service provides a platform to enable such connections to take place.

“It will also build on Warrigal's existing relationship with the Koori men's group and Koori women's group to encourage participation in activity groups and establish specific groups for the Indigenous community”, said Mark.

My Club Connect offers a multi-tiered club membership, co-designed in partnership with the University of Wollongong, for all older people living across the region, not just Warrigal customers and residents.

It also provides an economic benefit for our regional economy as it directly engages small and medium local businesses and connects them with customers interested in the services they offer.

There is overwhelming evidence that in the Illawarra the population of people over the age of 65 is growing strongly and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. The ABS has forecast an increase of 30.7% between 2016 and 2026 in the numbers of people over the age of 65 years in Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. The numbers of people over 65 will increase from 53,227 to 69,583 over that 10 year period. This population growth in older people is not surprising given the desirability of the Illawarra as a retirement destination due to its availability of services and coastal location.

It is clear from research over many years that an active lifestyle promotes wellbeing and physical exercise is vital in improving health outcomes. It is also clear that positive social engagement and inclusion is just as vital.

Clubs already on-board with My Club Connect include Living Connected, the Figtree Follies theatrical group, Shell Cove Activities Group, the Merrigong Music in the Mornings group, the Travel Club, the Albion Park CWA, WEA Senior Connect, the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Yoga at Shell Cove and the Brewers Club.

Some of the many businesses on-board supporting this great community initiative include Flagstaff, Pippi’s Café (Shell Cove), Milk & Co Coffee, The Housing Trust, Shellharbour City Library, WEA, Lowes and Coopers Australia.

For more information or to joint the club, visit the My Club Connect website: myclubconnect.com.au


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