Warrigal’s ‘Connect-19’ Program helping to keep older people connected
- Created on Monday, 21 September 2020 09:02
Warrigal’s ‘Connect-19’ program, launched in July 2020, aims to combat social isolation for older people 65 years and over during these times of COVID-19 isolation and social distancing.
Using Warrigal’s 400 plus volunteer base who have been made inactive due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, ‘Connect-19’ now boasts over 785 participant numbers and continues to offer regular and on-going social calls between volunteers and participants, as well as training and technical support in the use of smart devices.
For months now, Frieda has been following public health advice to reduce their risk of exposure by staying home. But sheltering at home has also meant staying distant from friends and the places that kept her active and engaged. She has been receiving regular calls from Barbara, one of the program’s volunteers.
“With no family here in Australia or overseas, it is lovely to be able to get regular calls from Barbara,” said Frieda. “I soon felt that I may already know her because we could talk about everything. I ring her as well, and now we are great friends. I hope I can meet her one day.”
Barbara also acknowledges the common value of the program and the need to support our older people during this time. “Frieda has shared many stories with me and I feel very privileged to have her confidence. I often share my own life stories with her and to, my surprise and delight, have found we have quite a lot in common and are never lost for conversation.
“We have developed quite a friendship over the phone and have discussed meeting each other in the future.” she said.
Warrigal’s Executive Leader Strategic Innovation and Development, Alissa Walsh said, “As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, it can be hard for older people to see any end to the need for social isolation and the loneliness that can come with it.
"We want to be able to offer the same caring service our Warrigal community have come to experience, and are making an open call for more participants to come on-board.”
“The Connect-19 program can help support isolated seniors during this pandemic to stay connected,” Alissa added. “Older people are our priority, and this program is a great chance for us to give back.”
Anyone wishing to take part in ‘Connect-19’ is encouraged to call the dedicated 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Contact: Elsbeth Olalia, Community Relations
M +61 (4) 3665 5808 | E email@example.com
Opportunities: Interview with Warrigal’s ‘Connect-19’ volunteer and