We are looking for a sponsor to fund our free community lunch event scheduled for 30 November during Social Inclusion Week. Our target group will be disadvantaged older people living alone. Nearly 50% of public housing residents that live in Kensington are elderly and living alone. This equates to just over 200 people.
The level of health risk associated with social isolation has been compared with that of cigarette smoking, obesity and other major biomedical and psychosocial risk factors. Statistics from beyondblue show that approximately 10-15% of older people experience depression and 10% experience anxiety.
The aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for people to socialise and make new connections. This may be with each other, or with staff and volunteers from the Neighbourhood House. An invitation from a friendly and familiar staff member to join an activity can be all that is needed for someone to make that first step.
The event will consist of a free healthy lunch and several activities. The activities will be tasters of existing programs at the Neighbourhood House. This is an easy way for people to come and try something new without the anxiety that sometimes surrounds coming in new to an existing group. Activities will include; gentle exercise, art therapy and gardening.
We will try and remove as many barriers as possible to ensure people are able to attend. We will provide a free community shuttle bus from the public housing estate to the Neighbourhood House for those unable to walk the 800 metres. The event itself will be free. We will have a team of staff and volunteers on hand to talk to people looking lost and lonely.
In 2017 we held our inaugural social Inclusion Week Lunch which despite extremely hot temperatures managed to attract over 40 people.
We will work with the Community Engagement Team at Unison Housing on the public housing estate in the lead-up to the event to spread the word and encourage people to attend.
Funded by Melbourne (August 2018)