Welcome to notable November and its corresponding edition of the Lively Gazette!
This is issue #18 of our monthly Lively newsletter, a summary of all things Lively. In this edition, you will read excerpts from Lively Helpers, Members, HQers and the wider community. For me, November symbolised a period of change since I finished my university exams, and my brother finished his Year 12 ones! Like many Lively Helpers (and perhaps even members of the wider community), November has been both a stressful and liberating month. I hope it proves to be a successful one too! My personal highlight this month was walking along the Great Ocean Walk with friends - the scenery was beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough!
This month’s edition features some exciting updates from Helpers in operational roles, developments to partner accessibility on the Lively website and app, and some typical warm and fuzzies to start our gorgeous November Gazette off in the right direction. It also provides some brief snapshots of what has been going on at HQ this month.
Please enjoy this Gazette! I look forward to curating the next one for you all and hope to read some of your stories in this form or firstname.lastname@example.org inbox - the most important part of our beloved Gazette is its community collaborative aspect!
Please enjoy these tales that may serve as some inspiration to other Helper/Member partnerships, or simply a point of interest as you sip a cup of tea.
Helper Michelle and Member Michelle’s Koala-making extravaganza!
“This morning I met Michelle at her favourite cafe - Sojo, and we enjoyed a coffee and halved a muffin. Michelle kindly offered to help me with a craft project, as I needed to make a giant koala-lil poo for a work fundraiser tomorrow. We did a grocery shop and then headed to the fabric store and returned to Michelle’s apartment. We laid out the fabric as we hoped to wrap these roll-like cushions in a chocolate brown colour. Michelle’s furry feline friends - Dolly and Honey were quite curious about the project. Michelle’s craft advice and help was incredibly helpful - so thankful!”
– Words from Lively Helper, Michelle
Helper Xinran’s appreciation of sincere & authentic Helper/Member relationships
“This is a photo of a thank-you card and a dolphin sculpture from one of my Members, Sandy. She gave the card and the sculpture to me as a gift at the end of our eight sessions. The gift represents our sincerity to each other and the authentic relationship we have built upon such sincerity. Dolphins are Sandy’s favourite animal. Her home is full of dolphin elements, from dolphin bedroom carpets to dolphin bathroom tiles. She would never give her favourite dolphin sculpture to me if we were not sincere with each other and did not form an authentic relationship. I value such a genuine rapport between us from the bottom of my heart. It is the most meaningful thing in this world and the direct motivator for me to pursue my career as a social worker.
Before joining Lively, my dream job was to do public relations or marketing. However, after I started working at Lively, I changed my mind and decided to do a second master’s degree in social work so as to become a social worker. I enjoy helping others and value the authentic relationships we build upon sincerity. With all of my Members, no matter what their backgrounds are, I can always feel their sincerity. Being known by them and truly knowing them brings me so much joy.”
– Words from Lively Helper, Xinran
There are many exciting developments in the wings of Lively at the moment. Some are the beginning of an ongoing process of personal and organisational development, while others, like our upcoming end-of-year celebration, are quickly approaching.
Serena’s reflections on Lively Social Media
This month, I (Serena) assumed the role of Social Media manager, alongside my pre-existing roles as Gazette Curator and Lively Helper. The experience has been incredibly fun and I’ve really enjoyed translating the general Lively Community content that I receive throughout the month into a “social media friendly” format. If you already follow the Lively Instagram and Facebook accounts, I hope you have enjoyed the various animal motifs and colourful displays. However, if you don’t follow us already, I strongly encourage you to hop onto our socials for a more immediate, frequent and efficient display of Lively’s comings and goings. There’s bound to be something for everyone – with cute selfies, interesting book recommendations and general insights into the workings of the Lively organisation.
To access the Lively Social Media accounts, please see the Lively Instagram here and the Lively Facebook here. If you feel like you have something to share on the social media accounts, or something you think others would enjoy, please don’t hesitate to share your stories through the same form we use for the Lively Gazette or to the email@example.com inbox. Alternatively, please feel free to email me things you want to see more of on our social media, as well as things you maybe want to see less of – I’m always open to suggestions!
Save the Date for our End-of-Year Celebration!
A little mish-mashed group of Lively Helpers and HQ’ers have been working away at an exciting end-of-year celebration/party/event/festival/extravaganza, and we’re finally able to share all the juicy details with the Lively community! Please see the key info here:
All are welcome! We’d love to catch up with any Members who have received support from Lively in the past year, plus all Helpers, Lively Boardies, and HQers, of course!
It will be a brilliant opportunity to socialise with the broader Lively community! Meet new people, catch up with old friends, play some games, eat some food… all in a fun, relaxed environment where we can wrap up the year and celebrate everything we’ve achieved together!
Things to note:
We will be providing some drinks and light food, but would love for people to bring a plate if they can! You could even make something in a session together! If you do decide to bring something, please write a little note including all ingredients used, just in case of allergies.
If you are interested in attending but would need help with transport, please let us know ASAP, and we’ll see what we can do! If you’re a Member and your Helper drives, you could have a chat about your options as well.
We will spend some time at Our Community House, and if the weather permits, those who wish to may wander over to a nearby park for some outdoor fun!
As always, please stay home if you are experiencing any cold or flu symptoms.
– Words from Helper Hannah, from the end-of-year Helper planning team
"Community Guiding" at Lively
We couldn't resist including this image of the Community Guiding Team meeting, joined by their canine companions!
“Happy Spring! This is Sophia and Ann on our weekly meetings :)
We are currently working on refining online communications between the Lively community as well as spring cleaning our systems. We wanted to check in and say hello to the community!”
– Words from Helper Ann (above)
“Our new Community Guide, Ann has been in the role for almost 3 months already and has been enjoying getting to know different members of the Lively community through our main phone line and email inbox. Ann has been able to bring her tech-savvy-ness into the role which has been a great help. I always love meeting and chatting with Ann and hearing her ideas and feedback. Last week Ann and I had a session to refine our website enquiry form and our furry friends got on to say hello.”
– Words from HQ Sophia (below)
Helper Fundamentals Training: say hello to our new Helpers!
Once again, HQ Helper Coordinator, Robin, has taken some new Lively Helpers through their Helper Fundamental Training at our HQ in North Melbourne. The session is incredibly informative and illustrative of the kind of work a Lively Helper can expect to engage in – I know I enjoyed my experience with this training very much.
Reflecting on the experience, Robin writes how – "we’re so excited to be welcoming our new Helpers, Kay, Fearn, Anna and Harry to work with our Members in the Northern suburbs! If you or someone you know has a big heart and wants to give back to their community, we want to hear from you! Apply now at www.lively.org.au/work-with-us before our next intake closes on 23 December."
– Words from HQ Helper Coordinator, Robin
Lively’s Presence at the Kingston Senior Services Expo
This year two of our wonderful Helpers, Jeanne and Xinran went along to represent Lively at the Kingston Senior Services Expo at the Kingston Town Hall.
From Helper Xinran (pictured right): "We chatted to between 30-40 people about Lively services and people were really interested to hear about what we do. We chatted to some people about tech help for their mobile phones and handed out lots of flyers. It was a really fun day. "
From Community Relations Builder, Sophia: "Xinran mentioned that other service providers at the expo told her that Lively was the only organisation there to offer the intergenerational model of support. She also chatted with a lady who was looking for a Vietnamese speaking support worker for her mother-in-law and said that Lively were the only ones at the expo who could provide that service.
At Lively, we work with our referring partners to find out the target language needs of their clients and then pass those requests onto our Hiring team for future Helper intakes.
I had been really looking forward to attending the expo, but was taken out sick with COVID just the day before. I chatted with Xinran on the day and both she and Jeanne absolutely did Lively proud, setting up the stand and chatting to so many people about Lively's services".
Recent innovations from the Matching & Tech Teams: ‘a tech treat for our partners’
On Monday 21st November we were excited to launch an app for partners of the Lively community!
We are fortunate to work with some fabulous councils, aged care providers and community organisations who kindly connect us with local older community members to match with a Lively Helper. Xinran, Hannah, Sophia and Paul from the Matching Team at Lively sensed that we could work more deeply with partners if they could see the same things that we could see about the Member and Helper matches and sessions. Rather than clogging email inboxes with updates, we decided to work with the Tech Team at Lively to configure an app, in place of the old service request form.
You might have noticed a neat 'Partner Login' button nestled next to the Blog link on our website. Now, case managers and referrers at our partner organisations can securely (and easily) log in from our website with a magic code sent to them. This gives access to our app to stay in touch with how those Members are going and to request a Helper match for anyone they think Lively might be a good fit for.
It feels really important that Partners, Helpers and the Matching Team at Lively are all looking at the same information about the Member we are supporting together, and that updates to info are in real-time. This means that the upcoming sessions schedule and latest session notes are available; and when a Helper 'checks in' to a session on their Lively app, this shows up for the partner on their app.
We hope that connecting our friends at partner organisations with this new tech will enhance our collaboration and support for Member and Helper matches.
There was a whole bunch of conversations and support from various peeps in the Lively Community to create our app for partners. A big thank you to everyone for your contributions. This is our first go and we have so many ideas that we are excited to incorporate over time!
Anything pushing your buttons? We'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Words from HQ Operational Manager, Paul
A Reminder: Lively's COVID-Safe Protocol to ensure safety in our community
Oh dear, that pesky virus is at it again! In light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the community, here are a few reminders about Lively's Infection Control Protocol, which has recently been updated to be in line with the latest guidelines:
It's Lively policy that Helpers are required to wear single-use disposable face masks in ALL indoor sessions. We encourage our Members to do the same to help keep your Helper safe from any nasties!
To maintain a safe environment for Helpers, it is Lively policy that your Helper ask you if you have any flu-like symptoms before entering your house. If you have any symptoms, they will request you take a rapid antigen test, so we encourage you to have some on hand!
Members and Helpers alike should monitor for flu-like symptoms and, if you have any symptoms or know you are a close contact of a Covid case, please take a rapid antigen test before any upcoming sessions.
A reminder: All Lively Helpers have received at least three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and we likewise encourage all members to keep up with their COVID boosters. Helpers are also equipped with a COVID safety kit to help them maintain good hygiene.
We encourage you to work in well-ventilated spaces and maintain 1.5m physical distancing where possible.
Thank you all for helping each other stay well and healthy! If you have any other questions about Lively's COVID protocols, you can email email@example.com.
– Words from HQ Helper Coordinator, Robin
November Talking Point
Each month, the Lively Gazette showcases what we refer to as ‘Talking Points’ – i.e. those interesting books or exciting upcoming events, sent in from people in the Lively community to benefit us all. This month, Lively Member Michelle recommends a novel series that came to mind when reading extracts from the October Gazette.
“Inspired by Helper McKenna’s insight into the achievements of her Chinese Australian elders, other Members & Helpers might enjoy The Thursday Murder Club novels by Richard Osman. A group of senior citizens in an upmarket retirement villa have an interest in true crime, but can they solve a real murder in their midst? The novels - 3 so far - are set in Kent in England. They are funny, touching and sometimes heartbreaking. They show elders as still very much alive and capable in spite of the changes of ageing.”
– Words from Lively Member, Michelle
November Pearl of Wisdom
This month’s Pearl comes from lovely Lively Member, Maggie. I would also like to send a special shout out to you, Maggie, since I’m so thrilled to hear you’ve been enjoying reading the monthly Gazettes! I hope this one proves to be just as enjoyable!
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!