As part of their mission to keep our communities connected, Community Circles Wingecarribee has people talking Italian, exploring mortality and mystery, singing in pub choir, keeping old tradies occupied and rallying around kids struggling with schooling, and the ideas keep coming!
Leave it to the Italians to take socialising to a whole new level! So many responded to a call-out that this group has had to relocate to the local RSL to find enough space for them all to regularly meet for dinner! The legendary big Italian family long lunch, happening right here in Wingecarribee!
“Dozens of different groups like this are gaining popularity and we’re constantly approached with new and exciting ideas,” says Wingecarribee’s Community Connector, Rose Shaw.
“Potential new projects include a Nepalese coffee group, Nannas Who Knit with a focus on social justice, an Irish Group, a Land Care gardening circle, and expressions of interest among people over 25 for an ASD support group.”
“The community networks we set out to facilitate have been embraced by community members in ways we never imagined, on a scale that shows just how much community members want and need to feel connected,” Rose says.
“We’re all about fostering supportive networks among residents through circles that span a wide spectrum of interests.” Circles also offer individual assistance for those who need to find new connections and support services. “Helping people to find their way out of isolation to where they can flourish in life is an important part of what we do in communities, through community members,” Rose explains.
Elderly residents are assisted to find nearby support they may be unaware of, Rose helps people living with PTSD or anxiety arising from the pandemic to find inclusive environments where they can feel safe to reconnect, and families experiencing Domestic Violence have been referred to organisations like POP-in.
Community Circles are also collaborating with Creative Space by arranging community conversations around growing the idea of a Repair Café. Creative Space is already helping people connect with established spaces for learning, skill-sharing, art exploration and even free TAFE courses. “Everything is better in good company,” Rose smiles.
Community Circles Southern Tablelands Arts created an Aboriginal Resource Directory in collaboration with local Aboriginal Community and facilitated weaving workshops as a way of sharing culture with the wider community.
Many community members are enjoying singing their way to wellbeing through various circles. “The pub choir group has grown to around 90 regulars and a mass community choir is coming together for the Angels in Our Town parade and concert in Corbett Gardens during the Festival of Lights which is so exciting!”
If you want to find a circle to get involved with or you have an idea of one, you’d like to start, check-in with the Community Circles Wingecarribee Facebook page.
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