20 February 2013

Everybody needs good neighbours

The following article appeared in this week's Eastern Courier. If you would like to volunteer in a progamme such as this the please let Council know. They are always looking for helpers.

Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide  by  EMMA ALTSCHWAGER 20 Feb 2013

MORE volunteers are needed to help support socially isolated residents throughout the east.

Burnside, Unley and Norwood, Payneham & St Peters councils run home and community care (HACC) services to help elderly and disabled residents with everyday chores and keep them connected to the community.

About 3500 eastern residents use the three councils’ services, which are run by staff and volunteers.

Burnside Council community and development services manager Louise Miller-Frost said HACC services were vital to older residents whose capacity to remain living independently was at risk. "We provide practical and social support services such as home help, personal care and shopping," Ms Miller-Frost said.

"Social activities are just as important to the health and wellbeing of our older residents ... and help them to remain connected to their community." She said the council needed more volunteers for its community transport and lunch programs..

An Unley Council spokeswoman said volunteers were always needed to fill gaps when existing volunteers travelled or left the programs because of work, study or family commitments.

A NP&SP Council spokeswoman said such services and programs helped older frail and younger disabled residents and their carers to stay in their homes and be connected to the community.

"This is particularly relevant for isolated residents who do not have the family support or network of friends to assist them," she said.

She said the council needed more drivers and assistants for its community bus and volunteers for its Stepping Out program, which partners people with an isolated resident for regular catch-ups.

The councils’ calls come as Messenger Community News launches it Know Your Neighbour campaign to promote neighbourliness and reduce social isolation.

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