Minister for Communities, Coralee O'Rourke: Keep Funding our 'Ways to Wellness Social Isolation Project'

As people who live and work in Mt Gravatt, Wishart, Mansfield and surrounding areas, we stand with the Member for Mansfield, Corrine McMillan MP to ask Minister O’Rourke to keep funding our innovative work to combat social isolation. 

 All of us know someone who is lonely and isolated!

  • Jill hasn’t left the house in years except to see the Doctor or to pick up groceries. She feels like her front fence is a prison.
  • Maria worries about young people in her community that struggle in school and find it hard to fit in.
  • Peter worries about his neighbour that he hasn’t seen for weeks.

The Ways to Wellness Social Isolation Project is a social prescribing network that reaches the most lonely and vulnerable and connects them to a group and social support within the community. It was developed by our leaders across our community in 2018. 

A “link worker” is based in our local Mt Gravatt Community Centre. Her name is Wendy. She walks side by side with people to build their confidence and make sure they have a place to belong.

The Ways to Wellness project is the first in Australia and has been based on a successful model in the United Kingdom. The Mt Gravatt project results speak for themselves. After only on year, 88% of participants have participated in a group in the community.

There have been referrals to over 80 local activities and groups including exercise classes, craft classes, music groups, the Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, singing groups, seniors’ activities and social groups!

This project matters to all of us. It is just finding its legs and starting to make a real difference.

The University of QLD has just received a grant from the Australian Research Council to properly evaluate the work over the next three years.

But Minister O'Rourke has not committed to continue funding our link worker.

We don't want to drop people in our community, just when they are starting to find their feet. 

Time has run out. We have people now waiting for support and now it is time for the Minister to step in.

We stand with the Member for Mansfield, Corrine McMillan MP to ask the Minister for Communities, Coralee O’Rourke to keep funding our 'Ways to Wellness Social Isolation Project."

Who's signing

Philippa Jenkins
Myee Connors
Jarred wright
Leah Sharman
John Bamford
Kristi-Lee Kane
Shaun Hayes
Tegan Cruwys
Belen Alvarez
Katie Munt
Hayley Kimball
Crystal La Rue
Jordan Reutas
Nik Steffens
James Casey
Magen Seymour-Smith
Kirsten Way
Catherine Haslam
Harrison Lee
Alex Haslam
Christine McCoy
Jenny Burt
Sarah Bentley
Teresa Nguyen
Polly Fong
Lea Greenaway
Viktoriya Kalmykova
Chelsea Geary
naomi Brown
Helen Miguel
482 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 332 reactions

  • Philippa Jenkins
    signed 2020-02-20 14:25:55 +1000
  • Myee Connors
    signed 2020-02-20 13:37:21 +1000
  • Jarred wright
    signed via 2020-02-20 12:50:26 +1000
  • Leah Sharman
    signed 2020-02-20 12:40:06 +1000
  • John Bamford
    signed 2020-02-20 12:34:12 +1000
    I’m not aware of this particular effort to combat social isolation but I know, through first hand experience, that it is a one by one and a one on one process. Hence having a link person is the key to accompanying individuals as they take the step from isolation to less isolation. Without such a link the effort will be left to well-meaning volunteers but who inevitably don’t have the time to continually follow through that a appropriately paid and skilled person can. I would appeal to the Minister that she re-thinks her funding priorities.
  • Kristi-Lee Kane
    signed 2020-02-20 12:01:50 +1000
  • Shaun Hayes
    signed 2020-02-20 11:57:44 +1000
  • Tegan Cruwys
    signed 2020-02-20 10:08:25 +1000
    In 2019, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners singled out Ways to Wellness as a world-class example of social prescribing (

    Please continue this funding so the evaluation can be completed and the Mt Gravatt community can benefit from this excellent program.
  • Belen Alvarez
    signed 2020-02-20 09:39:32 +1000
  • Katie Munt
    signed 2020-02-20 09:32:18 +1000
  • Hayley Kimball
    signed 2020-02-20 09:31:55 +1000
  • Crystal La Rue
    signed 2020-02-20 09:27:56 +1000
  • Jordan Reutas
    signed 2020-02-20 09:09:01 +1000
  • Nik Steffens
    signed 2020-02-20 09:01:10 +1000
  • James Casey
    signed 2020-02-20 08:52:12 +1000
    I think this is a fantastic project that can help a lot of people. It deserved to continue and to be funded accordingly.
  • Magen Seymour-Smith
    signed 2020-02-20 08:47:37 +1000
  • Kirsten Way
    signed 2020-02-20 08:42:22 +1000
  • Catherine Haslam
    signed 2020-02-20 08:37:24 +1000
    The evidence base is clear – loneliness is a health hazard. Its effects on mortality are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than physical inactivity and obesity. Loneliness is also a risk factor for multiple illnesses and causes of early death; increasing the risks of depression by 15%, stroke by 30%, and dementia by 64%. The Ways 2 Wellness project targets loneliness directly, providing the community with the solution needed to overcome these health costs of loneliness; and is already showing results. Keep funding this project. The benefits to the community will far outweigh the cost of a link worker.
  • Harrison Lee
    signed 2020-02-20 08:18:52 +1000
  • Alex Haslam
    signed 2020-02-20 08:18:08 +1000
  • Christine McCoy
    signed 2020-02-20 08:16:14 +1000
    This position is crucial for this very important community project. Please restore the funding so this project can continue for the benefit of the community!
  • Jenny Burt
    signed 2020-02-20 05:39:18 +1000
  • Sarah Bentley
    signed 2020-02-19 21:05:01 +1000
    Sarah Bentley
  • Teresa Nguyen
    signed 2020-02-19 18:40:29 +1000
  • Polly Fong
    signed 2020-02-19 18:15:33 +1000
  • Lea Greenaway
    signed 2020-02-19 17:41:06 +1000
    Lea Greenaway
  • Viktoriya Kalmykova
    signed 2020-02-19 09:35:48 +1000
  • Chelsea Geary
    signed 2020-02-19 09:06:13 +1000
  • naomi Brown
    signed 2020-02-19 08:44:15 +1000
  • Helen Miguel
    signed 2020-02-19 08:33:44 +1000