The Ballarat East Neighbourhood House has taken the pledge to Ballarat's Social Connections Program

The Ballarat East Neighbourhood House is delighted to show our commitment to improving social connections for healthier communities by making this pledge to Ballarat's Social Connections Program. Our purpose is to advance social and public welfare by advancing mental health and preventing social isolation and providing a physical location where we support individuals to undertake activities, or work on projects, in the company of others. We pledge to focus on this goal through providing activities, events, groups and connections to our local community. Well done to Ballarat Community Health for this wonderful project supporting the community of Ballarat.

The free Social Connections Program pairs you with a Peer Connector. A Peer Connector is someone who will listen to your social needs. They ask questions about your interests and hobbies to help develop a plan and provide you with the right support to help you connect to your community. Once you have a plan, the Peer Connectors support you to start and continue it. If you do not wish to talk to a Peer Connector, the Social Connections Program has made it easy for you to locate the right group, organisation or activity that best fits your needs. All you need to do is search the categories on the Community Engagement Services & Needs-Based Resources page of the Social Connections Program website to start your social connection journey.

Our Commitment

We pledge to:

  1. Increase awareness and share Social Connections health promotion material. Display material where suitable. Post on social media platforms.
  2. Conduct an organisation audit assessment to measure and inform social connection strategies and best practices.
  3. Provide equitable access to services and decision-making opportunities, considering all possible external stakeholders about social connections, especially, community recovery, reactivation, and reengagement.
  4. Engage with clients, patients and or work colleagues by starting the conversation about the effects of loneliness, social isolation and social disconnect and offer supports.
  5. Provide training/workshops to new and/or existing staff that focuses on Social Isolation and Social Connections at an individual and/or organisational level.
  6. Where possible address social interaction, participation, and connection barriers. For instance, address issues such as the Digital Divide and/or accessibility.
  7. Continue to promote activities and programs that help address social isolation, loneliness and disconnect specifically.
  8. Join the Social Connections Support Network within your region.
  9. Support, collaborate or engage in community-based responses for increasing social connection opportunities for community members and between organisations.
  10. Build a culture valuing social connection and belonging in community and organisations by cultivating environments where social connection is encouraged and welcomed.
  11. Have a nominated Social connector, committee or equivalent to implement the organisations commitment/s to social connections and social inclusion strategies for best practices.
  12. Recognising and celebrate staff, employees or volunteers that has displayed expertise to improve cross-sectoral partnerships favouring Social Connections and/or empower participants to advance towards self-determination and social connectedness.

Build and Link Partnerships

  1. Help/support organisation/s, groups or clubs evolve and enhance their current commitment to Social Connection strategies.
  2. When safe to do so, explore hosting social club networking events for building and maintaining partnerships between organisations.
  3. Communicate and promote commitment to Social Connections to our community, clients, staff and stakeholders.
  4. Support and disseminate the Social Connection Website.
  5. Support, as deemed appropriate, fellow Social Connections partnership member organisations to address issues of social isolation and loneliness, by sharing best practices and challenges through webinars, seminars, workshops, media.
  6. Improve community wellbeing by encouraging resilience and community connection by creating opportunities to connect with community and other organisations.

Self-determined actions

  1. Strive towards our purpose to advance social and public welfare by advancing mental health and preventing social isolation and providing a physical location where we support individuals to undertake activities, or work on projects, in the company of others.