Warrigal Launches 'Connect-19' Program

Warrigal has launched its newest service to the community: Connect-19’.

Connect-19 aims to combat social isolation for older people aged 65 years and over during times of COVID-19 isolation and social distancing. The 6-month project has been made possible through funding from the NSW Government’s Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grant Program.

The Connect-19 program also offers a chance to re-activate and re-engage Warrigal’s existing volunteer base of over 400 who have been made inactive due to COVID-19 lockdown and visitor restrictions, by providing social engagement opportunities to older people at risk of isolation and loneliness in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Queanbeyan areas.

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

“During these times of uncertainty, it’s often people in this cohort who find themselves disconnected from family and friends or struggle to find ways to connect with people. We want to help those who are socially isolated or at risk of social isolation connect and engage with others. This service provides an opportunity to directly engage with older people, enabling such connections to take place.”

“Given the knowledge, experience and passion our volunteers bring, we believe it will be beneficial for all older people living across the region, not just Warrigal customers and residents, at risk of social isolation and loneliness.” said Mark.

Connect-19 offers regular and on-going social calls between volunteers and participants, and training and technical support for older people in the use of smart devices, supported by the provision of ‘easy to follow instructions’ and procedures on the use of technology which will enable them to connect with others.

It will also provide referral and assistance to access Warrigal’s existing ‘My Club Connect’ program, which provides a free membership-based medium for older people to connect via local clubs, special interest groups and activities that appeal directly to them.

Participants who wish to take part in this program are encouraged to call the dedicated Connect-19 Hotline on 1800 106 930, Monday to Friday between 8.30am – 5pm. Alternatively, those wanting to volunteer with Warrigal and help provide support to older people at risk of isolation can register their interest by emailing volunteering@warrigal.com.au

ENDS
Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia, Community Relations Coordinator
                         61 (4) 3665 5808

Please note Warrigal Care has changed its name to Warrigal and should be referred to as Warrigal. Thank you.

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