What Do Community Centres Do – And How Do They Help?

We’ve talked about who community centres are for in one of our earlier blogs – so you already know that they (and we!) are created to be welcoming spaces for every single person in our community, from young to old.  At our community centres in Rozelle and Mort Bay, we have events and activities for all ages, creeds, interests and abilities – but we are so much more than an awesome social hub. Sure they are places for activities like music, crafts, yoga, workshops and more. And also for doing homework, volunteering, drinking a coffee and making a friend. We have all sorts of fun things going on at all times – so get in touch if you want to find out more and join us! (scroll to the bottom of the blog for more information on what’s on!) But, did you know that community centres are also places where you can access real, practical and relevant help and support for all areas of your life? Community Centres – here for you to connect, be social and access the support you need.  Our goal is to always connect you to whatever you need to live the life you want. Today, that might be a coffee, some fresh bread and a smile, on another day, you might need help with housing or finances – we are here for it all.   Some of the no-judgement, no-obligation services we provide are:   Counselling and mental health Financial services Housing access and support Legal Support Training & Certifications Food & Meal Delivery   Importantly, we can also support you with general Service Referrals – which means that you tell us what you need and then we support you to make it happen – together. We have all sorts of networks and connections with local and government service providers and resources available to our community and our goal is connecting people to empower wellbeing. Do you need a service or support to live a happier, safer and more satisfying life? Then it’s our mission to help you access it! Our team treat every enquiry and request with the respect and sensitivity it deserves. You never have to feel like you will be judged or second-guessed here at together2.  We’ve all needed a helping hand before so it’s our joy to be able to be that hand for others when we can. Whether it’s something serious and needs to be kept completely confidential, or you just had a hard day and want a chat over a cuppa, our door is always open.  Come on in – test out our open door policy.    You can get in touch with us directly on 02 9556 9500, or pop into our Rozelle Centre at 754 Darling Street to have a chat with one of our team.    Want to get social instead? Get to know us more informally by coming to one of our social activities or events – we would love to have you!   Mort Bay Choir group – Monday. Yoga group – Wednesday Dance group NDIS – Tuesday Community garden activities Peninsula community BBQs – First Friday of every month and open to the public.   Call us or email us at marco.de@together2.org.au to register – we can’t wait to see you!   Rozelle Neighborhood Centre Community BBQs – Last Friday of every month Outdoor Movie Nights Parenting Workshops Free Pantry Pop-Ups – every Wednesday and every second Friday Drumming Workshops And more!   Call on 02 9556 9500 or check out our website or Facebook page to see what’s on!

Share Your Skills, Connect With Others And Make A Difference – Volunteer With Us!

Together2, like many other organisations, owes a large part of our impact to our incredible volunteers!   From helping us run our community programs and activities, to providing much-needed support to our centres and the people we work with, our volunteers help us make a difference every day.   And volunteering doesn’t just help the organisation or the people we work with – but it also gives amazing benefits to the volunteer too – a Win Win Win!   What better way is there to connect with your community than through volunteering?   If you have some spare time you want to fill, have just moved into the area and want to meet people, or have a real passion for positively impacting lives – volunteering is for you.   Ways to Volunteer with together2   Did you know that we have many different community activities that always need a helping hand?   Share bread and a smile with the neighbourhood on Wednesday’s ‘Breadnesday’  Give a helping hand to the community by handing out fresh fruit and veg at our Pop Up Pantry Engage with the local youth by helping out at one of our Youth Programs Cook up a storm with us at one of our monthly FREE Community BBQs And more!   From an hour a week to as much as you want, there is something for everyone to get involved with here at together2. Join in community activities, get to know your neighbourhood and know you are making a difference.   Want to find out more or get involved?   Give us a call on 02 9556 9500 or drop in to have a chat. There is a place for you here.   The Amazing Benefits Of Volunteering   Volunteering is awesome! Not only does it help make the world a better place, but it can also bring heaps of personal benefits. You can develop new skills, meet new people, and gain a sense of fulfilment by giving your time and energy to a cause or organisation you care about. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to reduce stress, boost your happiness, and improve your mental and physical health.    Whether you’re lending a hand at a local food bank, joining a community cleanup or volunteering with us here at together2, volunteering is a win-win situation.    Here are some reasons to give volunteering a try…   Make a difference: Volunteering is a chance to make a positive impact in the world, just using your time and whatever you have to give. Whether you’re cleaning up your neighbourhood, mentoring a child, or helping out at a local animal shelter, your efforts can make a real difference to the lives of the people around you.   Learn new skills: Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and gain valuable experience. You can learn everything from event planning to public speaking to fundraising, all while making a difference in your community.   Meet new people: Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet new people and expand your social circle. You’ll work alongside other volunteers who share your passion for making the world a better place, and you might just make some lifelong friends in the process.   Boost your happiness: Studies have shown that volunteering can have a positive impact on mental health and happiness. When you give your time and energy to a cause you care about, you’ll feel a sense of purpose and fulfilment that can improve your overall well-being.   Have fun! Last but not least, volunteering can be a lot of fun! Whether you’re participating in a charity run, organising a fundraiser, or simply spending time with others who share your interests, volunteering is a chance to have a good time while making a difference. And we can guarantee that you’ll have a good time when you volunteer with us!   Want to give it a shot and experience the benefits, for yourself and for the people around you?   Just get in touch with us for a chat about what interests you, why you want to volunteer and how you can get involved with together2 in your neighbourhood.

What does Disability Support Look Like at together2?

We like to think that we lead the pack when it comes to providing local Sydney disability services – because our services are based around who you are and what you want. It’s that simple.    Our approach? We create a package of support options that fit you, your lifestyle and the goals you want to achieve.    Did you know that we can help you with everything from accommodation solutions, to activity planning, individual support and support coordination – for when the NDIS system is just feeling too complex to understand!    We are here to help you stay connected, find independence and be you. (See how we can help)   What should disability services do for you?    At its core, we are here to help you access NDIS payments and services if you are living with disability to help you live your everyday life better and easier.   And if we can add something to that, we would say: better, easier and more meaningful. Alongside supporting you achieve all the things you need to feel safe and independent: such as the right accommodation solution and the perfect job, while meeting all your everyday needs, we want to help you do more of what you love to do!   That might be going to the movies or the gym, exploring your local area or taking a holiday – we design support programs around your needs and interests, because both are equally important. It’s your life – our services give the support you need to live it.    So – how can together2 help you?   Activity Planning   Want to get out more? Travel? Exercise? Learn new skills? Tell us what you love to do and we’ll support you to do more of it.    We have: Day Programs to help build community and open the doors to new friendships and new skills  Holiday-planning so you can travel solo or with a group while putting in place whatever is needed to make it happen safely and independently Personal support for shopping trips, attending events or even just having someone around in the evenings Community activities – we’ll connect you with local businesses like gyms and local theatre companies so you can get out, have fun and meet your community    Accommodation    We all want to love where we live, so whether for you that is on your own or with other awesome people to hang out with – we’ll find the right solution.    We support both Supported Independent Living (SIL) and Individualised Living Options (ILO), and if you aren’t quite sure yet which one suits you best, just give us a call and we’ll figure it out together.    Support Coordination    Knowing what you are entitled to is hard enough, accessing it and managing all the admin along the way can be just as tough – we get it. We’ve been around a while so we know how it works, but the NDIS system can be a lot to figure out on your own.    We’ll help you understand your plan, choose your supports and take all the paperwork off your hands. But it’s your plan, so we also give you the support, info and tools to confidently manage your own funds and get the supports you need.    Individual Support   Determined to live life on your own terms? We love that – and we will support you to do it! Your dedicated support worker can work with you one-on-one to develop the skills you need to achieve independence. Live alone, learn new life skills, get a job, start a hobby… let’s do it.    If you live in Sydney and want your disability services to help you build a life, find community, and do things your way – let’s do it together.    Get in touch with our team at together2 and we’ll tailor a solution that will provide the support you need while giving you the independence you want.   Have questions about disability support services?    Here are some things you might be wondering… but if you don’t find your question here, give our amazing team a call on 02 9556 9500 – they would love to help you find the answer!    Will I be charged to access together2 disability services?   Absolutely not. The NDIS will include funding in your plan to pay for your plan manager – whether it’s us or another company. This will always be separate from the funding you receive for your other services and supports, so it doesn’t impact your budget.     Can you help me understand the NDIS system and what I am entitled to?    This is our sweet spot! The NDIS system provides so much amazing support and funding – but we agree that it can be complicated to understand and make sure you are getting what you need out of your plan. We know the system inside and out, so we’ll help you understand it and then use that knowledge to make the right decisions about your support.     Where does together2 deliver support services in Sydney?   We have bases in Rozelle, Balmain, Hurlstone Park and Mort Bay – but we support people all over Sydney! Just reach out to us if you are unsure, and if we can’t help, we will connect you with someone who can. 

The Life Changing Benefits Of A Community Approach To Aged Care

We don’t care how old or young you are, everyone needs to feel connected, have friends, social activities to do and a place to belong! People need people – otherwise, what is the point? And more than that – where is the fun?!    We believe in the power of connection – so this is a huge part of our approach to providing our Aged Care services.    Not sure what our Aged Services are?   Our together2 Aged Care Services   What do we do here? So glad you asked!   In short, we create a package of services and support solutions that allow you to stay in control of your choices, your schedule and your needs.   On the practical side, we’ll help you increase your independence through at-home services, driving you where you need to go or helping you make and keep appointments. The day-to-day life stuff.   And on the social side… We’ll help you stay healthy through taking you to activities, walks or exercise classes. And we’ll make sure you are connected to your community through things like our inter gen activities or the Belvoir theater bus, volunteering or anything else you can dream or do!   Our goal is simple. To empower you to achieve the quality of life you want – on your terms.    And what improves the quality of life more than community!   You’ve probably realised that we are a little bit passionate about this – so let’s tell you a bit more about the actual benefits of staying connected as you age…    The Real-Life Benefits of Community – for aging, mental health and more!    Being around the community has many life-changing benefits for both aged care and mental health. As we age, social isolation and loneliness can become a significant issue, leading to a decline in mental and physical health. Let’s face it, it’s hard for anyone to stay motivated and positive if you are alone with nothing to do!   Also, as we get older, we may find it more difficult to participate in activities we once enjoyed or to maintain our social connections. That’s why we love being able to help provide driving and support services to keep people out and about. As for maintaining social connections, this is where the community can play a crucial role. So here are some of the biggest benefits that staying connected to your community can provide…    Social Support   One of the most significant benefits of being around the community is the social support it provides. For older adults, social connections can provide a sense of purpose, belonging, and self-worth. When we feel connected to others, we are less likely to experience feelings of loneliness or depression. The community can provide a platform for older adults to interact with others and form new relationships. Community-based activities such as volunteering, group exercise classes, theater/movie groups, or book clubs can help create a sense of belonging and promote social interaction. We can create activities for you or take you to the ones you love – whatever suits you best.     Sense of Purpose   In addition to social support, the community can also provide a sense of purpose for older adults. Many seniors may feel as though they have lost their sense of purpose or value in society. But there is SO much you can give and so many ways your community benefits when you get involved – just look at our inter gen activities and how valuable our youth participants found it!    By participating in community-based activities, older adults can feel they are contributing to society and make a positive impact. If interacting with the youth isn’t your thing, maybe you can volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter? We all feel the benefits when we give back.    Physical Activity   This is an important one – staying fit and keeping moving! Exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, and there are many community activities and groups which offer ways to engage in physical activity with others. As we age, it can become more challenging to engage in physical activity, but community-based exercise classes can provide a safe and supportive environment for older adults to exercise. Exercise classes can also promote social interaction, making it easier for older adults to form new relationships. And to sweeten the deal, together2 will make getting there easy – personal chauffeur anyone?    Access to Support & Resources   Finally, the community can help older adults access resources and support services. For example, places like the Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre or Mort Bay Community Room provide access to health and wellness programs, transportation services, and other resources that can enhance their quality of life. By being connected to the community, older adults can stay informed about available resources and services that can support their physical and mental health needs. Not just through talking to us, but to the people who are already using our services and can give you tips on what they love and what to try next!    To wrap it up – because we could go on about the benefits for pages and pages more! – being around the community gives a huge amount of life-changing benefits for mental and physical health as we age.    There is so much support available, through us and through your community, to keep doing what you love, staying active and building strong connections that will keep you feeling young!   Social support, a sense of purpose, physical activity, and access to resources can help improve your overall well-being – so when was the last time you engaged with your community?    If you want to learn more about how we can help you do that on your terms, just get in touch with our lovely team for a chat!   

Who Are Community Centres For? (Hint – YOU!)

What do you picture when you hear the word ‘community centre’? Maybe it’s a dark, dingy hall. Platters of stale biscuits and awkward conversations with strangers…Maybe you think it’s only for seniors – or only for young people.

Creating Intergenerational Connections That Make A Difference!

Meet the together2 Intergenerational Program! This month we started a 4-week program to help promote social wellbeing for both youth and elderly in our local Rozelle community through a range of fun activities where everyone gets involved. Why? Because social isolation and its impact on wellbeing is a big deal and affects both young and old. So we are doing something about it!    The goal of this program is to encourage bonding, connection and communication between both generations. We’ve designed it to help everyone learn new skills, while promoting an understanding between the generations to help dispel negative stereotypes and reduce social isolation. It’s a big goal, but if day one is any indication – we’ll get there.   Day One – we’d call that a success!  Eight Year 10 Sydney Secondary Students from Leichhardt attended day one of our 4-week program along with some of our wonderful senior ladies who are frequent visitors to the together2 centre.   Today was all about getting to know one another. While at first, many were a little nervous about the program and if they would be able to get on with each other, it turned out to be a fun and fulfilling day for everybody – with plenty of opportunities to connect in a variety of ways.   Some of the games and activities we tested out were: Speed Friendships: Like speed dating but without the romance, students went around the room introducing themselves to all the elderly participants. Thanks to the use of conversation cards, it was easy to get the ‘friendships’ started! ‘Get to know you’ Bingo: Instead of numbers, personality traits and life experiences were used for the bingo cards – and the first group to match 5 traits in a row and yell “Bingo” won! One of the most hilarious questions was ‘Cross off your name if you have a VHS at home’. There was a big gasp in the room from the seniors as most of the 15-year-olds had no idea what a VHS player was!  Jenga Water Challenge: This was a team Game where all participants must fill a cup to the brim without it spilling – and that was just as entertaining (and damp) as you would imagine! Music Trivia: This trivia game used music from all generations, introducing both generations to new music and was labeled a success by all!    We are so excited to see how the next 3 weeks go and to watch the bonds that form between both generations. We hope this program is the first of many – so watch this space!   Want to know more? We are really passionate about the importance of this program, so here is a little bit more on the issues that it solves!   We want to connect the young and old together to:   Reduce Social Isolation Social isolation is a common issue among senior citizens, and it can have significant negative impacts on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some of the issues associated with social isolation in senior citizens include:   Increased risk of health problems: Social isolation has been linked to an increased risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and cognitive decline. It can also negatively impact physical mobility and overall health.   Lack of support: Senior citizens who are isolated may not have access to the support and assistance they need, such as help with tasks such as grocery shopping or transportation. This can make it difficult for them to maintain their independence and quality of life.   Loneliness and depression: Social isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, which can negatively impact mental health and overall well-being.   Limited access to resources: Isolated seniors may have limited access to resources and activities that can improve their quality of life, such as social events, recreational activities, and healthcare services.   Overall, social isolation can have significant negative impacts on senior citizens, and it is important to address this issue in order to improve the health and well-being of this population.   Create Engaged and Emotionally-Intelligent Youth   Why is it so important to connect young people and senior citizens?   Intergenerational relationships can help to break down stereotypes and prejudices that people may have about different age groups. Older people can serve as role models and mentors for young people, sharing their life experiences and wisdom. Some young people don’t have the benefit of grandparent-figures in their lives, and this type of program is a great way to connect them!  Young people can help to keep older people socially connected and engaged, which can be especially important for those who may be isolated or lonely. Intergenerational interactions can also promote a greater sense of community and social cohesion. Connecting young people and senior citizens can also have positive impacts on mental and physical health for both groups. For example, social connections and engagement have been linked to improved mental and physical health outcomes in older adults, while younger people may benefit from learning about history and culture from older people.   Increase Social Wellbeing Nope, this is not some meaningless jargon but an absolutely essential part of creating happy, healthy and engaged young people! Social wellbeing is simply the extent of how individuals feel connected to and supported by their community, and is an important factor in the overall wellbeing of our young people.    Here are several aspects of ‘social wellbeing’ for young people:   Social connections: Having strong social connections with friends and family can provide young people with a sense of belonging, support, and companionship. Social support: Having access to social support, such as help and advice from friends and family, can help young people to cope with challenges and stressors. And having the support of older people, from grandparents to family friends, is a big part of well-rounded social support.  Social norms and values: Being a part of a community that shares common norms and values

Free Monthly BBQ’s Bringing Together People From All Walks of Life

Together2 have begun hosting Free Monthly Community BBQ’s to help unite the local community by sharing a meal together. The first Community BBQ was held at the together2 Centre and despite the rain, 80 people gathered inside the neighbourhood centre to make new friends and enjoy a BBQ.