21 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

A wonderful way to connect for our isolated elders

Latest News

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group A: Labor

The Echo asked all the Lismore election Councillor candidates to send in a bio. First cab off the rank was current Councillor Darlene Cook and Group A.

Other News

Firearms and drugs charges – Bilambil Heights

Tweed–Byron police say that a man has been charged with firearm and drug-related offences following a search...

Give them a doggie inch…

Your article on dogs (17 November) is a sad reminder of the adage… give them an inch and they...

Ballina council votes for waterfront affordable and social housing

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to ask for state government commitment on waterfront affordable and social housing as part of a marina upgrade.

Public access to Bruns foreshore reduced by Reflections, say residents

Brunswick Heads residents are concerned that the managers of the Terrace Reserve Holiday Park are failing to stick to a court-ordered plan for the park, resulting in a potential loss of public access to the precious Brunswick River foreshore.

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Serious assault charges – Coffs Harbour

NSW Police say that four men will face court today charged following an alleged serious assault of a man on the state’s mid-north coast over the weekend.

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. 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Gladys just doesn’t get it? Bullshit.

The rules are lost to the dark art of time, but when I was younger, we used to play a card game called ‘Bullshit’...

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...