Community Connectors are volunteers who assist in “linking up” seniors who may be feeling isolated or under-occupied with local programs, groups, activities and events. If you are interested in becoming a Community Connector, or would simply like to find out more about Whittlesea Seniors Link Up, please contact us.
Whittlesea Seniors Link Up (SSIP) Project
Volunteer Community Connector Stories
Twelve members of our community were recruited as Volunteer Community Connectors. They participated in induction training and a field trip to various community venues and programs. The induction training covered topics such as the Whittlesea Seniors Link Up (SSIP) Project background, position description and role of a volunteer community connector, community member/client referral process, personal boundaries between volunteers and community members/clients. Volunteers were also provided with a resource kit of local programs, groups and events. Some case studies/scenarios were also presented.
The field trip was organised to provide volunteers with first hand experience to see venues and meet participants, staff and other volunteers involved in the delivery of social recreation activities for seniors. Places of interest included the Westfield Shopping Centre (Westfield Walking Group), Mill Park Leisure Centre (Active Adults Programs), Mill Park Basketball Stadium (Walking Football Program), Nick Ascenzo Community Centre in Thomastown (Dance exercise class), Lalor Library (Library programs), Lalor and District Men’s Shed, Lalor Community Garden, Whittlesea U3A Seniors Hub at Lalor Secondary College and Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre (TRAC Active Adults).
The volunteers reflect our multicultural community within the City of Whittlesea, coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds including Italian, Tamil, Maltese, Chinese and Arabic. Many are currently involved as volunteers in local seniors clubs, council organised programs such as LEAP seniors golf, bus outings, Twilight activity program, meals on wheels and community events.
Our volunteer community connectors have supported local isolated, lonely seniors with information and accompanying them to programs and events of their choice. Programs and events they have attended include Whittlesea U3A Walking Football Program, Morning Melody Shows at Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre, LEAP bus outings to Sorrento/Queenscliff and Mount Macedon, Westfield Walking Group, Mill Park Leisure Centre (Aqua Exercise), LEAP Seniors Golf Program, Seniors Clubs, Tai chi exercise class, an A league soccer game, supported by Melbourne City Football Club, Whittlesea Community Festival, Golf Trip to Marysville and Santa Taranta Italian Night.
Continued support is provided to our volunteer community connectors with regular network support meetings.