Victoria Minister for Suburban Development Marlene Kairouz
Making A Wheel Difference In The Lives Of Lonely Older Victorians
Victor P Taffa
A new-age rickshaw imported from Copenhagen is one driving force behind a revolutionary program that is tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst our elderly residents.
Andrews Government has backed One Good Street, a grassroots organisation that is connecting neighbours with older people to help keep them involved with the communities where they live.
Minister for Suburban Development Marlene Kairouz helped founder Matiu Bush launch the movement’s One Good Ride project at residential aged-care facility Gregory Lodge in Flemington.
“Loneliness and isolation are significant social and health issues and it’s great that Pick My Project has been able to support so many initiatives that address these issues.” Minister for Suburban Development Marlene Kairouz said.
“Our Metropolitan Partnerships which bring together local leaders have also done important work in this area and it’s important that we keep working together to create a more inclusive community for everyone.”
Andrews Government supported One Good Street and 236 other community initiatives across the state under the $30 Million Pick My Project program, whereby local people voted on the projects they deemed most worthy of support.
One Good Street uses social media platforms to bring volunteers together to provide services and activities for people who too often can be left on the margins.
One Good Street put part of a $30,000 Pick My Project grant towards the cost of importing a special transporter from Denmark featuring a comfortable passenger bench seat at the front.
Volunteer cyclists can now team with residents at facilities such as Gregory Lodge for tours through the local neighbourhood.
Plan is for one bike to become many as awareness grows of the significance of loneliness and isolation as social and health issues.
Project also operates the Library of Care Things, enabling people to donate equipment ranging from frames and shower stools to reclining chairs and electric wheelchairs.
Mr. Bush said One Good Street, which has 1,000 volunteers, aimed to change the way the community thought about and treated the elderly one street at a time.
Since 2018, the Inner Metropolitan region has received more than $1.1 Million in funding through Pick My Project, after almost 25,000 votes were cast across local communities.