“I like to say hello to people,” Sue Phillips says, with a smile. “When I meet up with the group I get to see new things, meet friendly people and say hello, and that’s always a good day.”
Sue and her friend Anna Hoffman are sitting in the Paynesville Cruiser Club, looking out over the water and the boats and chatting with the half-dozen or so people that have all come together for lunch.
Welcome to Paynesville’s Planned Activity Group.
Human beings are social creatures, and for many people like Sue, the desire to see a friendly face and form new connections with people is strong.
But, as the years go by, that simple act of getting out and about can become a little more challenging.
That’s why Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) created Planned Activity Groups.
“I live on my own, and so I really enjoy the company of this group,” Sue says.
It’s a simple, beautiful idea – Planned Activity Groups are regular meet-ups in your community, designed for seniors or people living with a disability.
Planned Activity Group get-togethers provide a friendly place to share a meal, catch up with friends or make new ones, and enjoy a range of activities that can assist with better health and wellbeing.
They can also serve as a valuable respite for carers. BRHS staff host the excursions and ensure everyone is safe and taken care of.
Anna Hoffman has been a part of this Planned Activity Group for six years.
She lives on Raymond Island with her daughter, and sees these weekly outings as a way to stay active, stay social, and meet new people.
“Oh yes, it’s always a lovely day,” Anna says.
The two ladies are sitting in the Paynesville Cruiser Club, looking out over the water and the boats and chatting with the half-dozen or so people that have all come together for lunch.
Good food and conversation is a feature of Planned Activity Group get-togethers, which the participants choose themselves. Sometimes they’ll hit the road and visit attractions throughout the region. Other times they’ll come together for a lovely BBQ or picnic in Paynesville.
“You make new friends, you get a bit of exercise, and you explore your community,” says Bill Blythe. “It’s a very friendly group of people.”
BRHS organises Planned Activity Groups in Bairnsdale, Buchan, Lindenow, Metung and Paynesville, and staff can assist you if you need help with transportation.
Older people living within the community, or people of any age living with a disability are encouraged to attend. The cost is $14 – $18 per day, which includes lunch and afternoon tea.
If you or someone you know might be interested in Planned Activity Groups, phone BRHS Planned Activity Group staff on 5152 0276, stop by our Ross Street campus at 48 Ross Street, Bairnsdale, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.