Communities and Justice

Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grants Program

Under Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 the NSW Government awarded more than $700,000 in funding for projects that would reduce social isolation for seniors during COVID-19.

24 organisations received funding to deliver innovative programs and projects to help older people connect with each other, through online engagement or other methods that maintained social distancing.

The projects were delivered up to the end of 2020, and the grant program was followed by the Reducing Social Isolation for Seniors Grant Program in 2021.

A few good news stories include:

  • the weekly delivery of books, DVDs and craft kits in Cobar by the Cobar Shire Council through their Staying Connected and Keeping Busy project
  • the provision of 30 iPads equipped with Skype, Zoom and FaceTime to hospitals, aged care facilities and community members in the Hume, by the Greater Hume Council, to enable communication with family and friends
  • Liverpool Women’s Health Centre kept older Aboriginal women connected through their Checking in on Our Aunties: Keeping Mob Connected project
  • Wollongong University project, Living Connected, guided community and service clubs on using virtual meetings and catch-ups to keep older people engaged
  • Cass Care provided social and emotional support to Chinese and Korean speaking seniors through their Connecting Seniors with no Boundary project and launched a Zoom activity group
  • Muslim seniors from seven language groups benefitted from a dial-in service operated by Human Appeal through their HOPE (Helping Older People Engage) project.

Please see the successful grants recipients page for more information.

Grants were available for organisations to create programs that foster social inclusion for seniors. Activities were to help older people connect with each other through online engagement or other ways.

These grants aimed to combat social isolation and provide quality social connection opportunities for seniors during COVID-19, while maintaining the social distancing advice.

For a program to be eligible, it needed to be aimed at people aged 65 years and over, or 55 years and over for Aboriginal people.

How programs were delivered

The 24 successful grant recipients delivered programs through online or other approaches that maintained social distancing. The target cohort for this grant was seniors who were socially isolated or at risk of isolation and loneliness.

We supported initiatives that:

  • effectively addressed social isolation for seniors while reducing the risks from COVID-19
  • actively attracted seniors who were socially isolated or at risk
  • could start immediately, or in a very short timeframe, by extending current capacity, systems and networks
  • had a wide geographic spread, and were regionally or locally focused, community driven and online
  • could show business continuity planning to keep the project running until the end of 2020
  • gave value for money in terms of overall costs and the outcomes and benefits.
Last updated:

13 Oct 2022