Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services is a non-profit, grassroots community centre that has supported the Hawkesbury community for 35 years. Delivering programs based on community need, they take pride in strengthening their community’s connectedness, wellbeing, safety and knowledge.
Using a Be Connected activation grant, the centre launched their program with a “Christmas in July” event. This created interest and enthusiasm among local seniors, who found the content interesting and the organisation a great place for support.
Maree Fayne, Community Development worker at HCOS says “I think we would all agree that we live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world and sometimes it is hard to keep on track and up to date with new technology. Being in the over 60 category myself, I was excited when I read about the great opportunity the Be Connected program offered to seniors to increase their knowledge in the digital world.”
The program really does help people sometimes in unexpected ways, as seen in this story shared by Maree. A woman who had lost her husband joined the program to keep connected with her community. She missed hearing her husband’s favourite song on the radio, and the memories it brought back of their life together. Maree connected her with a TAFE student who had volunteered as a digital mentor and who showed her how to find and purchase music online. The woman was thrilled by this experience and delighted that she could now relive her memories anytime she wanted.
Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services only recently launched their Be Connected program and are working towards registering 24 learners to be eligible for the Building Digital Skills grant. Maree is hopeful that the program will continue to make an impact. “The Hawkesbury area has many senior residents wanting to get involved with the local community, and Be Connected events are popular not just because of the learning content, but because they are combined with entertainment and food, all the great ingredients to change people’s perspectives on their lives.”