Social nights aim to tackle loneliness

A local group plans to tackle social isolation head on with the commencement of regular social nights for Ararat residents.

Ararat Suicide Prevention Awareness Group recently received $1,228 funding from Ararat Wind Farm to help fund fortnightly social nights for people experiencing loneliness and isolation.

The first social event will be held on Tuesday the 1st of February where people can come together in a friendly, non-judgemental environment for pizza, tea, coffee, a chat and a laugh.

Group representative Linda Nyikos said the social nights will be held every two weeks in an attempt to end the social isolation of COVID.

“It’s hoped these nights will benefit those people who’ve been feeling socially isolated and lonely, particularly while we have been dealing with the pandemic,” she said.

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“We invite people to come along on our first night and share in some pizza and a few games and sit and chat and maybe try some mindful colouring,” Ms Nyikos said.

“A lot of people have been noticing that they are lonely, there’s been a real draw on mental health services and this is just a way for some people to get together, they can join in some activities, join in some chat and we’ll even have a tv if they like.”

“With the funding we were able to get, we won’t put all our eggs in the one basket, we’ll see what people would like to do and then we’ll be able to get some things to cater for that,” she said.

Ms Nyikos said isolation can impact on people of any age.

“They can be young or old. There’s a lot of people who have a partner in care and they have limited time they can visit, and many of them are experiencing loneliness,” she said.

The social gatherings will be held from 6.30pm until 9.30pm at the old Girl Guide Hall at the side of Alexandra Hall, with the first event occurring on Tuesday the 1st of February.

Free tea, coffee, biscuits and pizza will be supplied.

People wanting to come are asked to contact Ararat Suicide Prevention Awareness Group by email  [email protected] or call Catarina on 0400 452 074.

Proof of vaccine will be required for those attending.

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