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

Rhonda Stoertebecker
Kim Savage
Chris Coombes
Val Preston
Danielle Hignett
Melanie Sutton
Trish Morrow
Kerri Paterson
Kristen Mitchell
Judith John
Michele Meredith
Caroline Rolender
Oceane Clement
Suzie Castle
Susan Ientile
Patricia Shine
Bronwen Kippen
Lauren Bower
Vivienne Doogan
Sarah Holdsworth
Paul Gallagher
Angela White
Kate Lorraway
Christine Smith
Kylie Rixon
Les Fenton
Terraze Porter
Terina Edwards
Lyndal Winter
Kate Stewart
482 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 332 reactions

  • Rhonda Stoertebecker
    signed 2020-02-13 16:59:06 +1000
  • Kim Savage
    signed 2020-02-13 16:57:22 +1000
  • Chris Coombes
    signed 2020-02-13 16:52:08 +1000
    I have lived in Mount Gravatt for more than half my life. Many of my friends and family are living in great isolation. Loneliness and isolation kill. The U.K. has recognised this. Time to step up our game
  • Val Preston
    signed 2020-02-13 16:43:23 +1000
  • Danielle Hignett
    signed 2020-02-13 12:36:59 +1000
  • Melanie Sutton
    signed 2020-02-13 09:08:38 +1000
  • Trish Morrow
    signed 2020-02-13 08:55:12 +1000
  • Kerri Paterson
    signed 2020-02-13 08:48:23 +1000
    As a community worker, I am constantly disheartened by government’s lack of response to the marginalised in cutting funding to these front line services and programmes. This is a clear example of the never ending gap that continues to widen.
  • Kristen Mitchell
    signed 2020-02-13 08:20:20 +1000
  • Judith John
    signed 2020-02-12 21:05:02 +1000
  • Michele Meredith
    signed 2020-02-12 19:23:58 +1000
    Continue the funding. Early intervention, proactive wellbeing programs save lives and funding!
  • Caroline Rolender
    signed 2020-02-12 19:12:46 +1000
  • Oceane Clement
    signed 2020-02-12 16:38:32 +1000
  • Suzie Castle
    signed 2020-02-12 15:02:55 +1000
    This is an area in need of a linked community worker.
  • Susan Ientile
    signed 2020-02-12 13:46:48 +1000
  • Patricia Shine
    signed 2020-02-12 13:01:18 +1000
    I don’t feel wages should be increased as employers do suffer enough and take on lots of risk to start up small businesses and Wages is the killer for growth within the company
  • Bronwen Kippen
    signed 2020-02-12 12:48:35 +1000
  • Lauren Bower
    signed 2020-02-12 12:34:32 +1000
  • Vivienne Doogan
    signed 2020-02-12 12:14:55 +1000
  • Sarah Holdsworth
    signed 2020-02-12 11:34:08 +1000
  • Paul Gallagher
    signed 2020-02-12 11:15:12 +1000
  • Angela White
    signed 2020-02-12 10:54:01 +1000
  • Kate Lorraway
    signed 2020-02-12 10:45:42 +1000
    This is a great initiative and have seen very positive changes within the community.
  • Christine Smith
    signed 2020-02-12 10:42:35 +1000
  • Kylie Rixon
    signed 2020-02-12 10:20:19 +1000
  • Les Fenton
    signed 2020-02-12 09:09:31 +1000
    At 72 yrs of age loving in Macgregor, Wendy was very helpful in assisting me to access various community resources in preparation for my recent ’TRKR total right knee replacement operation she has provided me details of social groups I can connect with when I am more mobile, which will reduce my isolation and episodes of depression. Thank you good luck with continued funding because your service has made a difference to my quality of life.
  • Terraze Porter
    signed 2020-02-12 08:51:31 +1000
  • Terina Edwards
    signed 2020-02-12 08:47:35 +1000
    Social isolation is our biggest issue and when combined with health issues, causes more strain than necessary on our health systems. It makes no sense to stop funding on these types of programs, then fund other similar programs. The Government also funds research into this area but then cuts programs. We need a clear and direct action framework to combat this issue now because it will only get worse. Programs such as Ways to Wellness are integral to supporting older people maintain their health and independence. Perhaps the government should read the research they pay for and then discard!
  • Lyndal Winter
    signed 2020-02-12 08:45:02 +1000
    Such an innovative and needed service, that if anything needs expansion, not cuts in funding.
  • Kate Stewart
    signed 2020-02-12 07:00:54 +1000
    This project is exactly what Australia needs. These social workers and all other assisting parties should be commended for what they achieved in such a small amount of time and minimal funding.

    Roll out this Project Australia wide I say!