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Out & About

A free service reducing social isolation in the LGBTI community

What is Out & About?

Out & About is a peer service connecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) people across Victoria. Out & About aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness experienced by older members of our LGBTI community. We do this by creating community connections and encouraging (intergenerational) friendships.

Out & About connects friendly LGBTI volunteer visitors with people living at home or in aged care as part of the national Community Visitors Scheme. We match our community visitors with LGBTI seniors based on shared interests and hobbies. The pair then engage in regular visits every week or fortnight, either at home or another location. These social visits could include having a chat over coffee or tea, watching a film, attending a community event, participating in a hobby, game or any other enjoyable social activity.

Any member of the LGBTI service can access our service, whether or not they are open about their LGBTI status. Out & About staff and volunteers respect the privacy of clients.

Eligibility

People of any age are eligible for our free service if they:
1. Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning (LGBTI), AND
2. Live anywhere in Victoria, AND
3. Are on or waiting to receive a Home Care Package OR live in Government-funded Residential Aged Care (“aged care / nursing home”).

NOTE: Due to Government Community Visitors Scheme regulations, individuals on Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) are NOT able to access Out & About.

More information

Contact Out & About

Ada Castle, Out & About Program Manager (Monday to Thursday)
03 9663 2474 / 0466 218 921 / outandabout@switchboard.org.au
Meredith Butler, Out & About Outreach Officer (3 days per week)
03 9663 2474 / 0455 777 387 / outreach@switchboard.org.au
Mail: PO Box 21291, Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 8011
Facebook: Like our Facebook page

How do I request a visitor?

You can refer yourself, or someone else (eg/ resident, client, friend, family) to our service.

New referrals can be made:

  • Over the phone with the Out & About Coordinator (details below)
  • Online via the New Referral Form
  • Download, print and return our New Referral Form: referring another person, or self-referral
  • Contact the Out & About coordinator and ask for a new referral form to be mailed to you. We provide a stamped return envelope

Information packs and FAQs:

How do I become a volunteer visitor?

There are many benefits to volunteering as a community visitor with Out & About. This includes building friendship across generations, learning about LGBTQI history, and getting involved with the LGBTQI community. Switchboard supports you through providing individual support, regular professional development sessions, access to supervision, invitation to events and providing expense reimbursement.

Out & About volunteers are recruited on an as-needs basis.
Register your interest in volunteering and we will contact you when a position becomes available in your area.

Read more information:

Request a free information session

Out & About representatives frequently visit health services and aged care facilities to present an Information Session on how Out & About can be of service to seniors and organisations across Victoria.
This session is free of charge, briefly discusses LGBTI ageing, program specifics and referrals and can be tailored to your organisation’s needs. Sessions usually run between 30 minutes and one hour.
Please get in contact to discuss this opportunity further.

External resources: LGBTI ageing and aged care

Strengthening Seniors Inclusion and Participation LGBTI Project

SSIP is a new project delivered by Switchboard Victoria and partners Transgender Victoria and Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care in 2019-20. This project aims to strengthen social inclusion and local community participation for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people across Victoria. Australian and international evidence shows significant barriers to ‘belonging’ for older LGBTI people compared to the general population. This can result in social isolation and reduced participation in local activities.

The SSIP LGBTI project aims to foster culturally safe opportunities for older LGBTI people to engage with mainstream organisations. Through community dialogue and local partnerships, activities will be developed with and by LGBTI seniors, based around their needs and interests.

Expression of Interest for Activity Partners
Are you a mainstream service provider and/or community group wanting to engage with older LGBTI people? We invite you to join the SSIP LGBTI project.
• One page project summary [pdf]
• Expression of Interest Information for Activity Partners [pdf]
• Expression of Interest Application Form- online form or [word document]

This is a rare opportunity for services and community groups across Victoria to build expertise and confidence in engaging older LGBTI people within their local community. Guidance and mentoring is available from LGBTI organisations and inclusive practice experts to assist you.

Expressions of interest are due by midnight 13 September 2019

Need more information?
For further information please contact:
Meredith Butler
SSIP Project Coordinator
Switchboard Victoria
(03) 9663 2474 or 0455 777 387
Email: outreach@switchboard.org.au

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