New program to transform activities at Orange Senior Citizens Centre

Federal Government funding announced today will activate the Orange Senior Citizens Centre (Nguluway Ngurang) into a Seniors Village Hub with a range of activities and support to increase wellness and reduce social isolation experienced by older people.

The Australian Government is providing $249, 818 over 3 years from the Seniors Connected Program to Orange City Council which operates the Senior Citizens Centre. The new initiative is aimed at helping to alleviate loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians in Orange.

FRESH START: Federal funding will let a range of new activities begin at the Orange Senior Citizens Centre ( Nguluway Ngurang) Pictured l. to r. Centre Cook Pat Downey is pictured with past president of U3A, Cecily Butcher and Mayor Reg Kidd.

The Orange centre is among 12 organisations across Australia that will share in $4.7 million to establish new Seniors Connected Village Hubs.

Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said this funding would help turn the centre into a hub of activity to help seniors better connect with their local community and live independently.

“These new village hubs would encourage older Australians to socialise and engage in activities like bushwalking, crafts, yoga classes and information nights that support good mental and physical health,” Mr Gee said.

“The Hub’s activities would range from the social, physical and educational to the artistic and cultural – all aimed at improving the wellbeing of older people.

“We know that digital and social connections are essential to support older Australians to live independently and this is more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the opportunity to create a new hub in Orange has come at a time of increased challenges and stresses associated with retirement and ageing.

“With a third of all senior Australians living alone, there is a very real need to help people who are feeling lonely and isolated. The new Hub will be delivering a range activities designed to help our older residents maintain good mental health or work on a smooth transition into retirement for new retirees,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“I’m excited about the way the new approach will involve community members in deciding what happens next.

“We’ll be setting up a local working party in Orange that will help decide the way forward. We’re also about to recruit a new staff member that will lead that process.

“We’re looking for someone who can develop the programs and resources for the Seniors Hub. They’ll need to build community awareness across the region, and also recruit and supervise a wide range of volunteers.

“The Orange Centre does a great job but this is an opportunity to give that centre a real boost of resources and breath of fresh air. It’s expected the new activities will be underway early in the new year.”

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