Formation of Anglicare Australia Financial Counselling Network
Anglicare Sydney research finds Australians living alone are doing it tougher
Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers, was the opening keynote speaker at the Financial Counselling Australia conference in Hobart. The conference theme was “The big yarn, stories that stir”. Asked to talk about inequality, Kasy highlighted the some of the broader ways in which inequality manifests itself and is felt. Noting the human propensity for empathy for those like us, Kasy urged delegates to share the stories of their work to help us all recognise that people who have less are not that different to those with more.
Later in the conference, attendees who worked for Anglicare Australia members met and decided to form a special interest network to discuss and shares issues pertinent to their work. If you work in financial counselling or a related area, and would like to join, please email [email protected].
EPIC to expand across Australia
EPIC is opening 23 more offices from 1 July this year, creating more opportunities for job seekers with disability to find jobs they are proud of. This will bring the total of EPIC’s Australian offices to 71, across Queensland, NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania.
EPIC CEO Bill Gamack says opening new offices will help connect job seekers with prospective employers in their local community.
“Everybody has a right to meaningful employment, but it can sometimes be tricky for people with disability to get started,” said Bill.
“That’s where we come in. Everyone deserves the opportunity to show what they are capable of.
“Work provides us with social interaction, greater financial freedom, confidence and a sense of purpose. Communities are stronger when they are made up of people who are working and feeling great about their contributions,” he said.
As part of its operation, EPIC gives its employees the opportunity to work on projects such as website design and development. EPIC's website and digital marketing services are provided by its partners, Web Assist, and could be of interest to Anglicare Australia network members looking to expand or rebuild their online presence.
Click here to find out more about Web Assist's services. To find out more the EPIC expansion, click here.
Amana Living Fighting Loneliness with Digital Inclusion
Nobody wants to be lonely. It can have devastating physical and mental affects, particularly among older people who are increasingly at risk of social isolation and loneliness. Technology has a role to play in helping people to stay connected and, while it will never replace direct human contact, it can be a vital tool to combat isolation.
Amana Living has been taking a proactive approach to tackling loneliness and social isolation in residents and clients through GenConnect. GenConnect involves a partnership with local Anglican schools where students teach digital skills to seniors, with the ultimate goal of increasing their social connections and independence.
“GenConnect aims to increase the digital literacy and social connectedness of Amana Living residents through personal tuition provided by secondary school students,” said Louise Molyneux, Amana Living’s Enrichment Technology Advisor.
“Our residents have really enjoyed learning in a stress-free and inclusive environment, plus the opportunity to bond with a younger generation. They’ve also loved the chats during the class, citing the social aspect as one of the most beneficial aspects of the tuition.”
Click here to find out more about Amana Living’s GenConnect program.
Pilbara headspace opens in Northwest with Anglicare WA
Anglicare WA’s proposal for an innovative youth mental health service model ‘headspace Pilbara,’ has now been launched in the North West of the State.
Anglicare WA, with funding provided by the WA Primary health Alliance (WAPHA), suggested a different model of headspace delivery – one which involved more mobile outreach – and which WAPHA and the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation has agreed Anglicare WA could trial.
Spokesperson for Anglicare WA, Philippa Boldy, said her organisation recognised the need for additional mental health services across the Pilbara and wanted to shift the focus from clients coming into the service, over to one where the service goes out to clients. This was based on extensive community consultation and co-design.
“We will have staff based in Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha, but the innovative approach we are taking with headspace Pilbara means that our counsellors and support staff will be out in the field, taking their counselling and psychology skills to where it’s needed across the wide geography of the region, and to work together with existing health and community services to meet young people’s wellbeing needs,” Ms Boldy said.
The service is designed to make it as easy as possible for a young person and their family to access the help they need for problems affecting their wellbeing.
Click here to find out more about headspace Pilbara.
Anglicare Sydney’s latest research ‘Going it Alone’, confirms that people living alone are doing it tougher than most other types of household. The majority of people accessing Anglicare’s Food and Financial Assistance program are on Government income support, and over a third (37%) of them live alone.
“We compared single person households to other types of household, across nine different community service programs. The study shows that lone person households are not only financially disadvantaged but are also more likely to be socially disconnected,” said Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney CEO.
“Being socially isolated is not simply a subjective feeling of loneliness. Social isolation is objective, and measures disconnection from important social networks. Our research shows that people living alone have fewer social connections; a lower sense of wellbeing; and a lower sense of control in decision making. A sense of control in decision making is important for people when dealing with the issues confronting them,” Mr Millard said.
Click here to read more about Anglicare Sydney's research