17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

A wonderful way to connect for our isolated elders

Latest News

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

Other News

REDinc’s new Performing Arts Centre is go!

It’s been a long wait, but two years on from the 2022 flood REDinc in Lismore have announced the official opening of a new Performing Arts Centre.

Rural roads need a path to recovery

The recent and continuing rains have turned many of our roads into a sodden mud puddle and the NSW Farmers have renewed calls for real action on road infrastructure funding after continual damage on roads and bridges across the state.

Funds sought to complete clubhouse

Byron Bay Football Club may finally get the funds to complete its new clubhouse, with Byron councillors to consider loaning the club $200,000 at this week’s meeting.

Can Council’s overturn their decisions?

NSW Labor planning minister, Paul Scully, when asked about the Wallum estate by local MP Tamara Smith (Greens)  in...

Wallum urban development back in court

The company behind the Wallum housing development in Brunswick Heads is once again taking Byron Council to court, this time for allegedly holding up its planned earthworks at the site in an unlawful manner.

Not enough letters like this about Gaza in The Echo?

The Echo’s studied indifference to the plight of the Palestinians and its reluctance to publish letters on the subject...

Many of our elders have been suffering loneliness and depression over recent weeks and often have been feeling trapped in their own homes – locked away from the rest of the community.

There are not many more things that make an older person feel part of the community, than having a personal connection with another person, in particular, a younger person.

A new letter-writing initiative is poised to bring a meaningful connection to thousands of older Australians who are feeling lonely or isolated during COVID-19.

The idea is to connect them with a network of over 3,000 letter writers, including families and school groups, wishing to send a little joy to older Australians through these tough times.

Connected AU’s Letterbox Project seeks to engage with older Australians who have been excluded from their usual social networks during COVID-19. Connected AU and Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia are calling on members of the community to register older family members, friends or neighbours who would like to receive a small gesture of kindness in the form of a letter.

COTA Chief Executive, Ian Yates, said the Letterbox Project is an important initiative at a time when the rest of the nation is beginning to open up, but restrictions will remain on visits in aged care homes for some time, and advice to older Australians is to be cautious and largely remain at home.

A meaningful social connection essential for good health

‘Meaningful social connection is central to everyone’s health and wellbeing, including older Australians,’ said Mr Yates. ‘But older Australians living alone and those in aged care homes can often feel isolated at the best of times, let alone in the midst of a pandemic where they are encouraged to avoid company for their own safety.

‘Council on the Ageing Australia is proud to support this grassroots initiative that helps build a connections in the community. We encourage everyone who knows an older person who may be feeling isolated, like those living alone or in aged care, to nominate them to receive a letter by visiting Connected AU’s website.’

Mea Campbell, founder of Connected AU, said public support for the Letterbox Project has been overwhelming so far. 

‘In times like this, receiving a letter from someone you’ve never met who is thinking of you and wishes to bring you joy is a wonderful feeling for anyone,’ said Ms Campbell. ‘It’s a sense of connection that is unique to letter writing, and it gives visibility and value to the recipient.’ 

‘I created this project in memory of my late grandfather. My thoughts during the initial stages of Covid-19 were of him, and of how distressing he would have found this experience; 95 years of age, living alone, no capacity to engage with technology. I realised there are so many other people in that experience and it led me to create The Letterbox Project, and then Connected AU.’ 

‘The project resonates with so many people and organisations, the idea that those of us who are lucky to be healthy, and surrounded, can gift our time to someone whose experience might be more challenging’

For those who are not digitally connected they can contact COTA on 1300 COTA AU (1300 26 82 28) and there will be someone to help you register.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Dear fellow Australian

    contacting my friends by post, phone and email, I am struck by how many are lonely, not just now with COVID-19, but before all this started. Are we the silent generation?
    At the moment I am writing what I can remember of my family and their lives both before,during and after the WWII. I find it helps. I know I wish I had asked my family about their lives before they died. I hope this will help my family when I am gone.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A grim commemoration

US President Jo Biden, responding to a question, made the comment that the US is considering the dropping of the prosecution of Julian Assange. How...

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are we living in the 1920s...

Save Wallum now

The Save Wallum campaign has been ongoing and a strong presence of concerned conservationists are on site at Brunswick Heads. How the state planning...

Can Council’s overturn their decisions?

NSW Labor planning minister, Paul Scully, when asked about the Wallum estate by local MP Tamara Smith (Greens)  in parliament on March 20, said,...