Call: 1800 184 527 | Chat online:QLife Webchat | 3pm - 12am every day |

Out & About

Friendship and community connections for older LGBTI Victorians

**COVID-19 update: our service continues with the option of in person visits or virtual / phone / mail contact. Volunteer visitors are trained in COVID-19 infection control. New referrals to use our service are still welcomed at this time**

Friends through Out & About Clynton and Haydn share their story with ABC Life, 2019

About:

Out & About is a free program of Switchboard Victoria especially for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) people. We aim to reduce social isolation and loneliness through creating peer friendships and community connections. Our service can be used by LGBTI seniors anywhere in Victoria.

Out & About facilitates friendship between LGBTI seniors and peer volunteer visitors. Our experienced staff match participants and volunteers based on shared interests and hobbies, and support both people to stay engaged and connected over time. We facilitate regular fortnightly catch ups for mutually enjoyable activities or hobbies, such as chatting over the phone, having coffee or tea at home or in a cafe, going for walks, seeing films, attending LGBTI community events and much more. Our service is friendly, caring and supportive. Please note Out & About is strictly not a dating or sexual service.

We welcome all eligible people to use our service, but especially encourage referrals from those who find it hard to leave the house, who live with disability and / or chronic health conditions including HIV or dementia, from people who access aged care services including residential aged care (nursing homes), live rurally or regionally, are trans or gender diverse, women, intersex, bisexual, Indigenous, multicultural or veterans.

Out & About is grateful to our major funders: Australian Government Department of Health and RACV Community Foundation. Out & About is a specialist LGBTI service of the Federal Government’s Community Visitors Scheme.

Eligibility:

To use our service you must be:

  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual or questioning, AND
  • live anywhere in Victoria, AND
  • Assessed for or receiving a Home Care Package at home, OR Living in residential aged care.

Note: we previously had a limited number of additional places for people aged 60+ (50+ Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander, living with HIV or trans / gender diverse) however these places have since filled up. You can however contact us to be put on a waiting list in case more places arise. Other services similar to Out & About are listed below.

Contact us:

For a confidential discussion regarding our service please call 0466 218 921, email outandabout@switchboard.org.au, or mail PO Box 21291 Little Lonsdale St Melbourne 8011. You can make a referral for yourself or someone else through the link below.

More information and other resources

Make a referral

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

New referrals can be made confidentially:

Information packs and FAQs:

Volunteer

Out & About is currently not actively recruiting volunteers. Out & About volunteers are instead recruited individually on an as-needs basis several times throughout the year. Please register your interest in volunteering with Out & About and we will contact you if / when someone is in need of a volunteer visitor in your area (anywhere in Victoria).

More information:

Alternatively, other Victorian mainstream community visitor programs are always seeking volunteers and usually do not have a waiting list to volunteer. Please contact esis.tawfik@ms.org.au to enquire about volunteering with another organisation located near you. You will be matched with a non-LGBTI person at risk of social isolation and well supported by a volunteer coordinator.

Service providers: 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.

Services simliar to Out & About

Further resources

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

Stay up to date: Quarterly newsletter and Facebook page

Get Out & About news delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to sign up.
Stay up to date with program updates, further opportunities to engage and important updates from the LGBTI ageing and aged care sector.

Follow us on Facebook: Like our Facebook page