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Community Connections program to connect people and overcome social isolation

CONNECTING: ac.care Community Connections manager Sue Watt (second left) with ac.care Community Support Workers Deanne Swift, Cindy Koolmatrie and Sheila Millington are working to connect people in the Murraylands affected by isolation or loneliness to local support groups, community activities, social opportunities and other services.
CONNECTING: ac.care Community Connections manager Sue Watt (second left) with ac.care Community Support Workers Deanne Swift, Cindy Koolmatrie and Sheila Millington are working to connect people in the Murraylands affected by isolation or loneliness to local support groups, community activities, social opportunities and other services.

NEW opportunities will be provided to help isolated country people connect and build positive relationships in the Riverland, Limestone Coast and Murraylands through ac.care’s Community Connections program.

“It is estimated one in ten people experience social isolation and that figure is likely to have grown significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ac.care Community Connections manager Sue Watt said.

“It is well-known social isolation has a negative impact on people’s mental and physical health, along with their ability to participate in the community.

“We want to help connect the disconnected by providing opportunities to bring people together in positive ways.”

Community Connections will be delivered by ac.care as a community partner in the Limestone Coast, Riverland and Murraylands, replacing the former Home and Community Care Program.

Community Connections is all about supporting people to increase their independence in the home and build stronger social and community connections,” Ms Watt said.

“Strong social connections can improve quality of life and provide better health outcomes.”

The program was developed by the Department of Human Services South Australia and recently won the Public Sector Values category in the 2021 South Australian Premier’s Excellence Awards.

Community Connections involves short-term support for up to 12 weeks and help connecting people with longer-term support where required.

CONNECTING: ac.care Community Connections support worker Deanne Swift with the new Community Connections brochure.
CONNECTING: ac.care Community Connections support worker Deanne Swift with the new Community Connections brochure.

Support may include facilitating opportunities for people to become involved in local community activities, find new support groups, meet neighbours or benefit from extra help at home.

South Australians aged 18 to 64 who are not eligible for Federal Government programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care may qualify for the program.

Priority will be provided to Aboriginal people aged 18 to 49, people from linguistically diverse cultures, unpaid carers, individuals who are financially disadvantaged and those living in disadvantaged locations and communities.

Visit Community Connections for more information.