Happy September to everyone in the Lively Community!
Welcome to issue #16 of our monthly Lively newsletter, an ongoing effort to update you dear readers on the enterprises of our Helpers, Members and greater community. Despite dreary periods of rain, September has certainly brought with it the glorious springtime and sunshine peeking through the clouds. I personally had the pleasure of walking through the Fitzroy Gardens recently and delighting in all the new flowers blooming. I hope you all get a chance to do the same in the coming months, particularly if spring is your favourite season, as it is mine.
Many exciting things have happened at Lively this month. New Helpers have joined our ranks and trained at our HQ in North Melbourne. Existing Helpers have spent time engaging in new and inspiring programs within the community, as well as developing additional skills through other operational roles. Our HQ members have travelled far and wide – our Community Relations Builder Sophia rejoins us from Mexico and our Helper Coordinator Robin leaves for the UK. Moreover, our Founder and CEO Anna recently spent time in Brisbane at the Social Enterprise World Forum.
In this edition, you will hear about all these exciting feats and much more from the firsthand reflections and insights of our Helpers and HQ members alike. Please enjoy this month’s edition and I look forward to addressing you again in the next!
Every month, we love to showcase some feel-good stories from our Members and Helpers. Fittingly for the beginning of spring, this month’s Lively Tales feature the gardening feats of some Social Gardening pairs.
Helper Eva’s first session with Member Voula
“When I first arrived, Voula and I shared a coffee and some biscuits together in her kitchen. We had a lovely chat and started to get to know each other. She then took me outside to show me her garden. We tended to a new patch of raspberry bushes she had planted, levelled out some soil and put straw down. She then gave me more of a tour, and we planted some native trees out the back and front. Voula gave me some cuttings and lots of greens to take home with me. In our next session we’ll start preparing the garden more for spring sowing. We also plan to build an insect hotel and a wire structure to grow pumpkins on.” – words from Eva
Helper Jess and Member Frances in the garden
“Today Frances and I spent our whole time in the garden. We planted some lettuces, did some more mulching and planted a variety of plants in the front and back garden. We took some pictures of the garden before and after so we can monitor the progress of the veggies in our upcoming sessions. Frances appeared happy and keen to be working on the garden.” – words from Jess
As a side note, I’m pleased to report that Frances has been a Member with us for a long time. While Jess is her current Helper and together they have had four sessions, the flowers pictured on the left were gifted as seeds from Lively over three years ago!
Helper Community Guide Ann’s photos
We’ll hear more from Ann below on her experience as Lively’s new Community Guide, but for now please enjoy these gorgeous photos – testament to the efforts of her Members, alongside Helpers past and present, in their gardens!
Throughout this month, our Helper and Members have been frequenting various new Tech Help programs around the city - including in Lalor and Kensington, as shared below.
This month, Helpers also engaged with a brilliant new initiative at Lively – the “Helper Meet-Ups”. Each Meet-Up offers new opportunities for personal development and skill-building. For the next two months, we are fortunate to have a CV-building employability skills seminar available. The September workshop was facilitated by Emily Dally (pictured bottom right ), an employment pathways specialist from Westpac, and also attended by the City of Melbourne’s Healthy Ageing Connections Officer, Natalie Warren.
Matching Team: Appreciation of the City of Melbourne’s Healthy Ageing Connections Officer, Natalie Warren
In their position, the Matching Team works closely with many of Lively’s partner representatives. This month, both members of our team have shown their appreciation for Natalie below. I took this lovely photo of Natalie with Farhad at the conclusion of our South Yarra Senior Citizens Centre tech help sessions.
Words from Matching Team Helper, Xinran
“The City of Melbourne has been Lively’s partner for a long time. We’ve built a stable partnership and CoM is our second largest partner at the moment with about ten service requests. Earlier this year, we had six Community Tech Help programs going on at the same time across six community centres in the City of Melbourne area.
Natalie is the CoM contact person. She has been very responsive and supportive. She has been to the community centres during the sessions to communicate and work with the Members and Helpers. She also joined Lively’s October Helper Meet-Up meeting on 30/9 to share her suggestions and experiences. Many thanks to CoM and Natalie! We look forward to helping more Members via our partnership.”
Words from Matching Team Helper, Hannah
“During our Helper Meet-Up on 30th September, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Natalie Warren, the Healthy Ageing Connections Officer at City of Melbourne (one of Lively’s partners). Natalie chatted to us about the ways in which we can support our Members to connect with other services and groups in their community. This can be so valuable for Members, and we, as Helpers, are perfectly placed to do it. Some options we can explore together include local neighbourhood houses, libraries, and U3A groups. A key takeaway for me was the importance of embedding this process throughout our sessions with Members; like any tech skill we might help with, fostering connections takes time and practice, and it’s ideal to have them already ‘on the go’ by the time we finish up with a Member.
Thank you, Natalie, for your time!”
Hello to the Digital Literacy Lalor Library Club
“Every time, seven to nine members are turning up. We had the slides and printed handouts for everyone. We usually come early to set up the room and get the monitor going. Then, we present and teach the Members different topics according to their weekly needs and requests. I love that we have the flexibility to tailor the class structure and plan around Members' existing skills, interests, and expectations. My Members would also come early to help us set up some time. We have met weekly, and it has been almost two months. We feel we grow as a lovely, determined class to learn and have fun. We believe the feedback from all Members has been positive. Everyone is doing their best to support and help each other, including Members to other Members. We love seeing how people sit next to each other and start sharing knowledge and supporting each other. Jeanne even noticed three Members hanging out in a cafe next to the library after the session ended. This is when we see the session as successful, when the participants are having fun learning while creating meaningful relationships. What class will be better than a fun and supportive class?”
Words from our incredible Helpers Jeanne & Bhavi, pictured left and right respectively above
From the SYSCC to the Kensington Neighbourhood Centre: the beloved City of Melbourne Connect Café continue!
Similar to the Tech Help sessions at the South Yarra Senior Citizens Centre (SYSCC) featured in our last edition, our Helpers at the Kensington Neighbourhood Centre having been working with Members in 1:1, hour-long, allocated sessions that allow Helpers to target the specific and catered needs of the Members. Please enjoy the following photos taken by our lovely Matching Team Helper, Hannah.
Social Media at Lively: a hello from our Social Media officer, Helper Brett
“I have been the social media curator for almost 3 months now! I am extremely grateful for having this unique role. I have learnt so many new skills about social media management through this role. Before this role was created, the Lively social media pages were quite inactive, and now I aim to make 2 posts per week for our Instagram and Facebook pages. Since then we have seen more engagement with posts and a bump in our follower count! I am super happy to see this progress 😊”
If you are ever wanting to engage with our Social Media platforms for the latest titbits and updates from our organisation, please click here for the Lively Instagram and here for the Lively Facebook. Please follow, like and share our posts so that we can reach more younger and older people who might be interested in working with us or receiving our services.
This month much has happened at Lively’s HQ. Please enjoy these stories from HQ staff and operational Helpers who share their experiences of recent activities.
Helper Ann’s reflections on the Community Guide role
“It has been exactly one month since I began the Community Guide Role at Lively and it's been absolutely rewarding so far! I'm grateful I have the opportunity to learn from Anna, Paul and Sophia, be in touch with the community and understand the networkings of Lively.
On the day to day, I have been learning as I go. I have had the chance to get a better insight into the aged care industry and the many people who work in it. There is certainly a lot of information to take in however it balances with the interactions I've had which have been very lovely, warm and receptive.
As I am also a new Helper, the most challenging part would be scheduling in the shifts and Members sessions! I've adapted a hybrid role which definitely keeps it exciting. This role is teaching me how to manage my own time, prioritise tasks and be mindful of my own limitations. Attached to my article [above] are some photos of my dear Members in their garden, I am so proud of their garden haul and need to show them off! These are some harvested goods from last season which a dearly missed Helper help plant.
Thanks for tuning in, have a great day to everyone who is reading this!”
Founder Anna on the Social Enterprise World Forum in Brisbane
This month, I had the pleasure of jetting up to Brisbane for the Social Enterprise World Forum. With over 2000 participants joining in person and from around the world, the Forum was an incredible opportunity to connect with and learn from a community of inspiring changemakers - people who, like us at Lively, are working hard to build a more caring, equitable and generative future for people and our planet. I was thrilled to connect with leaders who have successfully scaled up their organisations through social franchising, local ‘pods’ and other innovative models, and who were generous enough to share their learnings to help Lively on our own growth journey. I was challenged to consider how Lively can do more to contribute to First Nations and climate justice - and how I can also do so personally, outside of my ‘work’. And I was reminded of the need to keep connecting and working with actors across the systems we’re trying to change, to achieve deep, enduring progress.
One of the quotes of the forum, for me, came from activist India Miro Logan-Riley, who pointed out that ‘people shape worlds’. What we don’t like, we can always recreate. And as economist Kate Raworth noted, the way that we design our organisations - from their ownership and financing structures, through to the way that relationships operate and collaborative networks are formed, can reflect and start to shape the kind of future we want for our communities and society. For me, this reaffirms all of the thought and effort that we’ve been putting in at Lively to these very same ‘internal’ design elements.
Coming away from the Forum, I’ve been so incredibly energised by a community of people who see the challenges in front of us and who lean in, roll up their sleeves and get to work on solving them - rather than bemoaning the barriers to change, or resigning to the status quo, only because alternatives are yet to be created. I’m grateful that our community at Lively is full of such people, and I’m excited to bring lots of the learning, ideas and new connections from SEWF into the organisation to help us keep moving forward!
New Helper McKenna on the recent Helper Fundamentals Training
“Hi Lively Team! My name is McKenna, a newly joined Helper from the September intake! (Actually, I should be joining Lively in the July intake but due to Uni schedules I was not able to attend the trainings…So, thanks for still having me on board!)
I felt glad to be able to meet a couple of lovely people on the first day (i.e., Robin, Anna, Paul, Phoebe and Mahyar). Although the training sessions were quite long, I still enjoyed a lot as Robin had made them full of fun! The interactive games helped us to get to know each other better! During the training sessions, we participated in several role plays which focused on making appointments with Members before our first visit, collaborating with each other to solve potential problems during visits, undertaking a risk assessment for the Lively office, etc… All these experiences had made the learning process vivid and enjoyable!
I'd particularly like to thank the Lively website designer as they have made navigating the process so convenient! I can immediately find the information I need through those links and tabs! I also feel supported that Lively is able to provide scripts for calling/greeting Members as I often feel restless when it comes to making the first phone call. With the scripts, I feel more confident and believe I am able to find my own style of calling sooner.
I am looking forward to starting my first visit with Members! I am sure working in Lively would be the best decision I’d ever made! Hope to see you around at the office!”
Each month, we hope the Gazette leaves our readers with something to chew on beyond what’s going on directly in the Lively community. Be it an interesting article sent in by a Member, or an event that may be of interest. Please enjoy the following talking points for this month.
Guardian Australia: the best Australian books of the month
Every month, literary editors and critics from the Guardian Australia publish their top picks for upcoming Australian titles in a comprehensive list available here. For all our keen readers subscribed to our Gazette, we hope one of these may strike your fancy!
2022 Victorian Seniors Festival: when and where
This state-wide festival celebrates Victorians over 60 through its provision of countless free or low cost events and activities throughout October. This year, the Victorian Seniors Festival turns 40 so there’s sure to be much celebration in the air. Please see here for a summary and here for the major events.
In keeping with our spring theme this edition, our Pearls of Wisdom for this month come from poets across the world.
Are you a Member, Helper or Friend of Lively with a pearl of wisdom, 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!