Wishing the happiest of New Years to all readers of the Lively Gazette, old and new.
Welcome to issue #20 of our monthly newsletter on all things Lively!
As some of you may have noticed, the Gazette took a brief hiatus in January while Serena, our Helper Lively Gazette curator, was on holidays. But now both the Gazette and Serena are back in action to deliver you an exciting and action-packed Gazette full of tales and farewells, reflections and wisdoms. Summertime has encouraged more time in the sun, with many Helpers and Members taking to gardening. Tech Help sessions continue to track along in various Melbourne locations. And the Pokemon-style info cards make a return to the Gazette with the final four operational Helper profiles making an appearance. With all this and more to come in this month’s edition of the Gazette, we’re glad to be back and hope you enjoy the read!
As ever, if the stories within this edition inspire you, never hesitate to share your own Lively Tales in this form since the most important part of our beloved Gazette is of course its collaborative community aspect!
Helper Ann & Member Jocelyn’s impressive haul!
“Today Jocelyn and I worked on cutting back two trees in the backyard. We broke branches down together and picked marigold seeds while catching up on our week. Jocelyn then very nicely gifted me tomatoes, cucumbers and a 341g eggplant from her garden. She said she loves to share this with me and I gratefully accepted. Jocelyn is such a joy and her garden reflects it so!”
– Words from Lively Helper, Ann
Helper Kay & Member Ivana’s productive labour!
“Ivana and I started with chopping and cutting tree branches and agaves. At times, she used a battery operated saw while I held onto it and collected the fallen parts. We moved on to weeding the main front garden area, and most of the violets on the side. Altogether, we had 3 bags full of garden waste. The garden is a lot brighter, Ivana said, "I can see the sun!". And at the end of the session, she expressed she was "surprised and proud of myself, haven't got this much done in a long time." Ivana expressed she was feeling sore but good!”
– Words from Lively Helper, Kay
Tech & Tea in Whittlesea: A key digital literacy program back up and running
Our flagship digital literacy support program, Tech & Tea, is back up and running in partnership with the City of Whittlesea at the Lalor Library and Barry Road Community Activity Centre in Thomastown. In early February, we kicked off in Lalor with a group of keen participants interested in honing their Google and Excel spreadsheet skills. Our partner, Diana from the Whittlesea Positive Ageing Team, and the participants were keen to report that our two Helpers Kay and Mahyar were very attentive to individual needs.
Some words from Lively Helper Kay (pictured left): "For the sessions with Lalor Library, I absolutely enjoy the language exchange. I showed a Member how I write Chinese characters on my laptop after downloading the Macedonian keyboard for him. Diana and the Members were delighted that I opened the session with "Dobro Utro" saying, "Ah you remembered! Very good!". I really enjoy the intercultural conversations, such as a Member telling me about starting a textile business when he first came to Australia decades ago. There is also the rewarding feeling of showing Members how I have to Youtube how to use formulas on Google Sheets, and Diana echoing that we all have to learn how to use tech as much as Members do themselves. 😊"
Xinran’s reflection: the intersection between work at Lively and assessment for Uni
In this section, one of our Helper Matching Coordinators, Xinran, reflects on the intersection between her work at Lively and assessments for university when studying her degree in Social Work.
“I’ve been working at Lively for more than a year and I’ve been enjoying every minute. But there are also some challenges along the journey, one of them being how to set boundaries with the Members. I understand the importance of maintaining professional boundaries in all situations, but sometimes I may find it awkward to do so.
I value the significance of responsiveness, and therefore, I tend to give people positive responses as quickly as possible and do not know how to refuse others. Moreover, being Chinese, making refusals is not encouraged in my culture and no one has ever taught me how to do it properly. As a result, whenever I have to say “no” to others, I will always feel guilty and have no idea how to open my mouth. This has resulted in putting me in ethical dilemmas several times as a Lively Helper. Sometimes, the Members would ask for my personal phone number so that they can reach out to me if there is an emergency. I know it is not professional to give them my number, and by doing so, I would make our professional relationship complicated. However, I honestly do not want to let them down, especially when the Member is from China and cannot speak any English since it makes me feel like I am the only straw they could clutch.
Fortunately, we had a Helper Meet-Up focusing on how to set up and maintain boundaries last year. After having a lovely discussion with Robin and the other Helpers, I’ve made some progress on maintaining clear and appropriate professional boundaries. It is not easy, but I’m on my way. To be honest, setting a line between my life and work has also made me even more enjoy my work, and it’s also beneficial for my Members as I’ll be more concentrated while helping them.”
– Words from Lively Helper & Matching Coordinator, Xinran
Farewell to John: Lively’s Home Care hero
It's with sadness for ourselves (but excitement for him) that we bid farewell, this month, to our beloved Care Manager, John. John is setting sail into a big new life chapter (retirement!), and with Lively's Home Care package program now completing its wind up, the Care Manager position on our team has also been retired.
John joined the Lively team in May 2021 - a turbulent period, during which we were wrestling with some existential challenges for our organisation. John bravely signed up for the challenge, and brought to the team an enormous depth of aged care sector expertise, coupled with an open mindset and huge energy to reimagine traditional care relationships through the Lively model. We've never taken for granted what a rare find that is in the aged care industry today, and we've been so lucky to have John stewarding and strengthening our Home Care program since that time - ensuring exceptional care for our Home Care Members, caring for Home Care Helpers, and helping us think through and chart the strategic path forward for Lively Home Care. It is testament to John's unwavering commitment to Lively's core purpose that his parting gift was in fact helping us see that closing down the Home Care Package program would release generative energy that could be used to pursue our mission in other, more effective ways. And, also, that his final weeks were spent ensuring a positive and smooth transition for our Home Care Members to new providers who will administer their packages going forward.
On a personal level, I know I speak for all team members in saying that we will miss John's warmth and kindness, his sense of fun, and his unwavering ability to bring novel perspectives and deep wisdom to day-to-day conversations, which we have all benefited from immensely. We know that John will be staying around as a close friend of Lively, and look forward to seeing what new adventures await him!
– Words from Lively Founder & CEO, Anna
Hiring at Lively: our newest additions to the ranks
“We are so excited to welcome our two new helpers, Ella and Isabella, into the Lively community! These stars will be supporting more of our friends in the Darebin Council area to get into their gardens, keep their homes tidy and comfortable, and learn more about the digital world.
Ella (22, left in image) is a Bachelor of Arts student studying Philosophy who is also working to support disabled people in her community! She loves cooking, theatre, going for walks/hiking, learning or discovering anything new and is passionate about caring for and supporting her community.
Isabella (18, right in image) has just graduated from Year 12, and is about to embark on her studies in Occupational Therapy. If you're working with Isabella, you should ask her about her love of cooking and French patisserie, travel, and her experiences coaching teen basketball!
They're already getting to work, and we can't wait to hear their great stories!”
- Words from Helper Coordinator, Robin
February Helper Meet-Up: a course in facilitation & some surprise origami
“Our bimonthly Helper Meet-Ups are a great opportunity to meet up with our fellow Helpers and pick up some useful skills along the way. This month, Robin led a helpful conversation on the topic of group facilitation. We brainstormed some practical ways to facilitate, and then had some real life simulations. In the first session, I led a demonstration on how to make an origami samurai hat and during the second, fellow Helper Kay facilitated the scheduling of a social Helper Meet-Up. In both situations, another Helper in the room had been asked to disrupt the Facilitator’s direction. This exercise certainly proved to be both educational and entertaining!”
- Words from Lively Helper, Serena
“I met a lot of like-minded people during this Meet-Up and they were all great! We got to know each other better and discussed a lot of situations we would encounter at work and came up with some solutions together, including some very useful facilitation skills (under the fantastic guidance of Robin). I look forward to every Meet-Up to come as I can always learn a lot from it.”
- Words from Lively Helper, Harry
Member Penny’s Docklands exhibition: a focus on People, Place, Culture & Vitality
“I desperately wanted to share this clip with the whole Lively community! It's a TED Talk by Billie Jordan, the founder of the world's oldest dance troupe: the Hip Op-eration Crew. In her speech, she illustrates some heartbreaking, but beautiful and hopeful, points about ageing, the power of dance, and the way our beliefs shape not only our own lives, but the lives of others. As a hip hop dancer myself, this story is really close to my heart. It gets me all emotional every time! Click here to see Billie's TED Talk and here to see the crew in action!
P.S. There have been some whispers of a project along similar lines right here at Lively... stay tuned!”
– Words from Lively Helper, Hannah
Tech Help Pop-up for tech-interested people 50+ ...
Lively community members in the Carlton area: Get down to one of these 2 locations for free tech help on your device from a wonderful, tech savvy Lively Helper.
February Pearl of Wisdom
As always, thank you for tuning in and until next time, we leave you with this parting pearl from Lively Member, Coral ...
Are you a Member, Helper or Friend of Lively with a pearl of wisdom (life tip or inspiring quote) or any content ideas for the Lively Gazette that you’d like to share with us? We'd love your contribution! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to feature anything in the next edition!