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Community Support during COVID-19

Mel is the local community connector as part of the Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative (CASI)

Information on how to access support for anyone feeling lonely or isolated due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Funded by State Government Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative (CASI)

Come and chat to reconnect!

Are you or someone you know feeling lonely or isolated as a result of COVID-19? Want to feel more socially connected locally?
Mount Alexander Shire Council is running casual drop-in sessions at a community hall near you! Turn up, enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with our community connectors who can link you into local services or activities.

Light refreshments will be provided by the Country Women’s Association.

Please note some sessions have been either cancelled or postponed due to current COVID restrictions in Victoria. For further information please contact Melissa Fowler, CASI Community Connector on 1800 512 446 or email covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au

Drop in session dates, times and locations below:

Date Time Venue
Tuesday 8 June - CANCELLED 10am to 12pm Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre
Thursday 10 June - POSTPONED 10am to 12pm Maldon Community Centre
Tuesday 15 June 10am to 12pm Harcourt Leisure Centre
Thursday 17 June 1pm to 3pm Newstead Community Centre
Friday 18 June 1pm to 3pm John Powell Pavilion, Guildford
Tuesday 22 June 10am to 12pm Chewton Senior Citizens Centre
Thursday 24 June 1pm to 3pm Taradale Hall
Friday 25 June 10am to 12pm Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine
Tuesday 29 June 10am to 12pm Maldon Community Centre

Are you feeling lonely or isolated, or know someone who might need help?

Help is just a phone call away thanks to a new support service designed to help people who are experiencing loneliness, or are socially disconnected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can access social, emotional or practical support via the Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) initiative.

To access the service, call Victoria's Coronavirus Hotline, or contact our COVID-19 support service to speak to someone who can assist you here in the community.

We have received funding from the Victorian Government to deliver the program in the shire until December 2020, in partnership with the Australian Red Cross and the Department of Health and Human Services. We are also working with a wonderful local network of organisations and volunteers who are keen to lend a hand and provide support to our community.

How to request help or support

Call Victoria’s Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and choose option 6.

You will be connected to a volunteer from the Red Cross who is trained to talk to you about your needs, particularly if you are feeling anxious or distressed, or they can provide a friendly ear if you feel like you need someone to turn to.

They may also put you in touch with our community connector who can connect you with local organisations, groups, social activities or practical assistance. Our support officer will also follow up with you to make sure you’re getting the support you need.

Local support

If you would like to speak directly to someone here in the shire contact our COVID-19 support service and ask to speak to our community connector:

• Call us on the toll free number 1800 512 446 between 8.30am and 5.00pm (Monday to Friday)
• Email us at covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au, or
• Visit the online virtual emergency relief centre and fill out an online form.

You can also contact the Coronavirus Hotline to get advice on how to encourage others to seek support.

See an Easy English booklet version on how to access Coronavirus support for social connections below.

What type of help will I receive?

Some examples of the help or support we can organise includes:

Emotional support like a wellbeing check-in or a regular chat with a local over the phone.

Practical help such as running an errand, helping you use technology to stay in touch with family and friends, making on online application or ordering shopping over the internet, or we can

Link you to social and community activities such as online book clubs, fitness groups, craft groups, learning new skills or volunteering opportunities.

Who can seek help?

Support is available to community members that need support during the pandemic. This initiative is designed to support vulnerable members of the community.

This may include people who are:

  • Older and living alone
  • Carers
  • Living with a disability or chronic health condition
  • Social housing tenants
  • Single parents
  • From culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Recently arrived migrants or refugees
  • Aboriginal Victorians
  • Living within the LGBTIQ+ community, or
  • Experiencing financial hardship

Who else is involved?

Council is proud to be working with a passionate network of people who are helping to assess local needs, provide support and monitor this program in our community.

The Mount Alexander Local Support Network is made up of representatives from local neighbourhood houses, health, aboriginal and library services, as well as advocacy, multicultural services, charity, church, education, community and volunteering groups.

As a result of the CASI Local Support Network coming together, a coordinated approach to the Be Connected Program has been developed between Council, Castlemaine Community House, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre and the Castlemaine Library. The Be Connected Program runs digital inclusion and mentoring activities to support the community throughout the year.

Thank you to everyone involved.

CASI Projects

Council and the CASI Local Support Network are delivering a number of community projects over the next six months to build social connections in our community. The projects will offer a variety of cultural, artistic, social and wellbeing activities to address the impact of COVID-19 on the community.

Read the list of Community Activation and Social Isolation Projects 2020/2021.

Download the Community Activation and Social Isolation Projects 2020/2021 (54 kb, PDF).

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