Hobsons Bay hosts innovative gambling aversion project

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Hobsons Bay City Council is launching The Digital Switch, an innovative community-led project aimed at minimising the impact of gambling on older people and addressing social isolation and loneliness.

The project seeks to minimise gambling harm among seniors aged 60 years and over, by connecting them with young people to encourage socialising in safe and meaningful settings.

Council will partner with key community organisations to offer seniors alternatives to electronic gaming machines such as digital activities, programs, events and social outings with the help of young mentors.

Funded through the Victorian Government’s 2019–20 Seniors Participation Grants Program, the project commences in February and will focus on reducing social isolation among older people at risk of problem gambling.

Council will develop a community leadership team and encourage mentors to join to help reduce isolation and loneliness among seniors in the community, as well as providing opportunities for young people to learn from seniors.

Community members interested in becoming a committee member are encouraged to visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/digitalswitch

As noted by Hobsons Bay Mayor Cr Colleen Gates:

“The Digital Switch presents a great opportunity to connect people from different generations and help them gain access to projects and programs that provide more enrichment and engagement than gaming machines.”

“I encourage those who want to know more about the project or who want to participate, to visit our website www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/digitalswitch

As stated by Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan:

“Around one in ten older Victorians experience social isolation and loneliness.

“I’m very pleased to support this great local initiative that will help reach out to isolated or vulnerable seniors and help them stay connected, healthy and well.”

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