6 March 2020

$600,000 to help senior citizens in Goulburn

| Dominic Giannini
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The new program is helping to tackle loneliness in the senior community. Photo: FACS.nsw.gov.au

The NSW Government has put in $600,000 to help lonely seniors in the Goulburn electorate become more social and make friends in a bid to help the older community tackle isolation.

The Staying Social Grants Program is open to encourage organisations to create local programs for older people, supporting projects that help older people connect with each other and create meaningful relationships within their community.

The program is aimed at people over the age of 65, or over 55 for Aboriginal people, and should focus on group activities, Family and Community Services (FACS) NSW says.

The program will help provide a positive outcome for senior citizens struggling with seclusion and loneliness, said Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman.

“Funding could go towards enhancing an existing program, expanding a program to suit a wider audience or creating new programs to combat social isolation,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“There are so many health benefits to social interaction and we want our senior citizens to be involved with our community with even more activities on offer for them to enjoy.”

Acting Minister for Seniors, Geoff Lee, said the NSW Government is helping the community build meaningful and lasting relationships between their senior citizens.

“We want to provide more opportunities for our seniors to get out of the house and try new activities while having great conversations with people they have never met before,” said Mr Lee.

“Loneliness and social isolation can have adverse effects on our senior’s mental health so we are looking to fund programs which foster inclusion and encourage positive social outcomes for people over 65.”

The program will also help keep older people keep socially and mentally active, providing a range of health benefits.

“Our seniors can make new friends while trying out activities for the first time which can challenge their minds while helping them stay fit and healthy,” Mr Lee said.

“Activities which are already helping NSW seniors stay social include ocean swimming clubs, walking groups, table tennis clubs, dancing groups, art classes, and walking basketball teams.”

The grants are provided as a part of the NSW Government’s Ageing Strategy – a commitment to boost opportunities available for older generations and tackle the challenges faced by an ageing population.

“Our vision is for people in NSW to experience the benefits of living longer and enjoy opportunities to participate in, contribute to and be included in their communities,” FACS says.

Applications close on 19 April 2020.

More information is available at www.facs.nsw.gov.au/inclusion/seniors/seniorsstayingsocial

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