enliven was selected to coordinate one of seven Strengthening Seniors Inclusion and Participation (SSIP) projects across Victoria, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). With a focus on the Greater Dandenong municipality, the project was supported by a local Project Leadership Group comprised of representatives from:

  • Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS)
  • Greater Dandenong Library
  • Dandenong Neighbourhood House
  • South Eastern Legacy
  • City of Greater Dandenong (CGD) Council
  • Monash Health
  • Uniting AgeWell
  • Regional Diversity Advisor

The leadership group were instrumental in identifying local projects that would aid in reducing social isolation and promote healthy ageing.

These included:

1. A survey with South Eastern Legacy and their clients in Greater Dandenong.

The survey provided an opportunity for members to give direct feedback on current program offerings enabling South Eastern Legacy to review its current range of activities and potentially tailor them more specifically to the needs of members’ requests. They were also asked to provide peer advice to those entering their senior years!

2. Homework Club at CGD Library

Dandenong Neighbourhood House student placement volunteers mentored and supported year 6 – 12 students out of the Dandenong Library to achieve their homework outcomes and connect with peer support. This trial will be used to hopefully develop an ongoing program using senior community members as mentors.

3. Robotics class for 50+

Another partnership between CGD Libraries and Dandenong Neighbourhood House saw a free four-week Robotics education workshop run from the Library for people aged 50 years and over. This initiative was based on research showing the effectiveness of this form of engagement for older adults that are not necessarily attracted to broader group activities.

4. Technology for All

A community needs analysis conducted by Dandenong Neighbourhood House indicated the need for technology to be incorporated into new and innovative ways of learning. As a result, ‘Technology for All’ was developed, providing engaging and interactive digital literacy related classes in a variety of new formats for Neighbourhood House attendees.

5. OASIS

A survey of previous, current and potential users of OASIS Sports and Aquatic Centre has been conducted by CGD. The results are currently being collated, with plans for those relating to older people to inform the project priority for SSIP.