GRAI announce plans for Australia’s first LGBTI+ Village Hub

GRAI (GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc) have announced they have been approved for three years of funding to establish an LGBTI+ Village Hub – the first of its kind in Australia.

Covid-19 has amplified disconnection and loneliness among LGBTI+ elders, who research shows are already more affected than most by social isolation. LGBTI+ seniors are also less likely than others to have children or other family members to support or care for them.

Under the Seniors Connected Program, 10 Village Hubs across Australia have been funded to alleviate loneliness and social isolation experienced by older Australians, while GRAI’s model will focus solely on LGBTI seniors.

Village Hubs will bring older Australians together in their community to progress activities that support good mental and physical health as well as better connections to the local community. The initiative targets people aged 55 years and over (or Indigenous Australians aged 50 or over) living in the community.

“The great majority of supports for elders are based on a service provider/client model,” GRAI Chair Michael Berry said of the project.

“GRAI’s Village Hub concept aims to move away from this model to establish a supportive framework based, as far as possible, on building respectful friendship-leaning relationships between its members. This dynamic will empower members and offer autonomy and dignity through interdependent community support”.

GRAI’s Village Hub will be led by and for older LGBTI people, offering multidimensional peer support and service development for the community.

An LGBTI Elders’ Advisory Group will be established to advise on the Hub activities, and Peer Elders will help provide a one-on-one befriending service for vulnerable and isolated individuals.

Work towards creating culturally safe referral pathways and links to mainstream services such as medical, aged care services or housing supports will also be developed.

OIP Staff

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