A new virtual world for capacity building and connection
Launching the VSC in 2015 in the aged care and seniors’ space, this month marks Feros Care’s expansion of the vibrant platform into the world of disability.
Helping to alleviate social isolation, the new, interactive and empowering venture utilises a two-stage approach to not only connect people with disability, their families and carers, but offer relevant content to build capacity and skills from the studio
and into the comfort of people’s own homes.
After liaising with Feros Care Local Area Coordinators (LACs), who sourced information directly from National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, VSC project lead Angela Lockwood said virtual sessions would provide relevant and creative content
for people to connect with.
“A lot of people with disability identify as feeling socially isolated, and particularly in the current climate, the Virtual Social Centre is a great way to connect,” Angela said.
“Our LACs connected with people with disability, to find out what they’re hearing, what their questions or frustrations were and what they wanted to see and learn, and we correlated all that information.
“It’s been about listening to what information is relevant to people, and now the goal is providing a lot of sessions facilitated by LACs or people with disability themselves.”
Over five years, the VSC has enriched the lives of seniors through sessions allowing like-minded people to connect online by doing the things they love. With a focus on stimulating the body and mind, people can connect to book clubs, exercise classes,
games and entertainment, or through information sessions on healthy living and technology.
WHAT THE VIRTUAL SOCIAL CENTRE CAN OFFER
While varying in approach, offerings in the disability space will follow similar themes through five streams of content, which are closely aligned with Information, Linkages and Capacity (ILC) building =projects.
Through Arts and Performance, Employment, Innovation, Carers, and Health and Lifestyle, people can tap into learning about everything culture, food sourcing, music immersion, job skills and learning about the NDIS.
“Content will be delivered through one of the streams, and the main focus is helping people to build and increase their capacity,” Angela said.
“Programs will offer diversity on an inclusive platform where everybody is welcome, and whether we’re catering to people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds or different cohorts, we want to provide information to
connect with that’s relevant to a whole range of people.
“There’s everything from a bush tucker man who comes into our studio with food to explain the medical benefits and other information, or music and mindfulness to explore the cognitive benefits of music and how to build capacity through cognitive
“There’ll also be employment programs where participants can build their job skills and awareness.”
Whether it be getting active, reactive or just connecting for a chat, there’s something for everyone, and it’s completely free for NDIS participants from 7 to 65 years-of-age.
A Feros Care initiative, Angela said the VSC had been a front-runner and ahead of the game in the virtual world since its initial launch. With a full month of content locked into the content calendar for July, there’s plenty more to come, which
will all be focused on each of the five key streams.
“Long-term, it’s about listening to audience and knowing what content is relevant for them, and we’d love to see our five streams delivered on every month,” Angela said.
“We already have partnerships and content in place to provide over the next six months, and a focus will be creating community partnerships, and connecting with community services who may be providing a face-to-face service then working with them
to bring that onto the VSC to facilitate.
“Some of these sessions are coming up, and we’re aiming to be innovative. It’s not a webinar platform, it’s a social platform and we want people to connect while learning something at the same time.”
For more on the VSC or to get involved, contact our team on: 1300 986 970, or email: [email protected]
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT OTHER WAYS THE VSC HAS HELPED PEOPLE CONNECT.