Grant round aims to reduce isolation in culturally and linguistically diverse seniors

The sixth round of a government grants program run in partnership with the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) that support organisations to create or expand community participation opportunities for socially isolated seniors from a CALD background is now open.

ECCV Chairperson, Eddie Micallef, encouraged organisations that support senior Victorians to apply for the 2017 Participation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Seniors Grants Program, which are now open

“Evidence shows that older people from CALD backgrounds are often at higher risk of social isolation due to a wide range of factors, such as language, limited mobility, poor health, lack of confidence, and lack of knowledge of what supports and activities are available,” Mr Micallef said.

“Since 2011 the grants program has funded more than 250 community projects across the state helping over 3000 isolated CALD seniors to get involved and participate in the community.”

“Being socially active is important for health and well being, and evidence shows that older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can face a higher risk of social isolation.”

The projects are funded by the Victorian Government and are to be implemented over the course of a year, from mid-2017 to mid-2018. The program funds projects to help find isolated people and connect them to existing or new support networks and activities.

The grants help organisations run events, activities and social outings for culturally diverse seniors, as well as organising transport options such as volunteer drivers, and car-pooling for seniors isolated at home.

Previous projects funded include the formation of new or expansion of existing community and social groups, classes to bridge the digital divide and help seniors connect online, exercise and fitness programs, arts and craft programs, health information sessions, group excursions, health and wellbeing information sessions, storytelling projects and cultural celebrations with traditional dance and music.

Eligible organisations such as Seniors Clubs, ethnic community groups, Migrant Resource Centres and Neighbourhood Houses and local councils are invited to apply for funding up to $5000 or $10,000 for more complex or partnership projects.

“I would strongly encourage eligible organisations within our community who are working with seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to find out more about this very important grants program,” Mr Micallef said.

Applications are open until 5pm, 24 February 2017. For more information on the grants visit www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/cald-grants.   For queries or help to complete the application interested organisations should call the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria on (03) 9354 9555 

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