Connections Program

Overview

Connections is a one-to-one social support program for people who are experiencing social isolation and for those on a mental health recovery journey.

The aim of the Connections Program is to set up safe and supportive mentoring friendships enabling Program participants to reconnect with their community by building new friendships and working towards new goals. A participant’s goals could be anything from learning a new skill, to attending a short course, or finding a new social club or group.

The Connections Program provides one-to-one social support for:
  • People who are experiencing social isolation
  • People who have been socially impacted by COVID-19
  • People on a mental health recovery journey

There is no mental health diagnosis required to access the Program.

The Connections Program follows a strengths-based, recovery-oriented model to reduce stigma associated with social isolation and mental ill-health, and to increase positive self-perception.

VolunteeringACT carefully screens and trains volunteer friendship mentors who work with Connections participants to provide one on one social support.

VolunteeringACT works in collaboration with participants, friendship mentors, health professionals, family and friends to encourage participants to reconnect with their community and take steps toward achieving their goals

VolunteeringACT takes care to match participants and friendship mentors by considering:
  • Location
  • Age
  • Compatibility, interests, and hobbies
  • Other preferences
VolunteeringACT facilitates an introductory meeting between the participant and friendship mentor to share information about each other and consider how they can work together to achieve goals identified by the participant. After the introductory meeting the Connections Coordinator checks in to ensure both parties are happy to continue with the friendship. Friendship mentors and participants agree on regular meet-up times, activities or other ways of connecting.
Our friendship mentors will support you as you work towards meeting your goals. The Program accepts self-referrals, or you can be referred by a health professional, support worker, family member or friend. To be eligible you must be:
  • Someone who is experiencing social isolation or
  • Someone who has been socially impacted by COVID-19 or
  • Someone on a mental health recovery journey

And

  • Be willing to commit 1-2 hours per fortnight for a 6-12 month period
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Be willing to reconnect with the community through participation in social and goal directed activities
  • Be able to access transport to and from meet ups and other activities
To find out how you can become involved as a volunteer with the Connections Program please contact the Connections Team by calling (02) 6251 4060 or emailing connections@volunteeringact.org.au
The Connections Program relies on its volunteer friendship mentors and their commitment to helping people in our community experiencing social isolation or mental ill-health. To be eligible friendship mentors must:
  • Be willing to commit 1-2 hours per fortnight over a 12-month period
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a current Working with Vulnerable People Card (or be willing to obtain one)
  • Be willing to participate in community activities
To find out how you can become involved as a volunteer with the Connections Program please contact the Connections Team by calling (02) 6251 4060 or emailing connections@volunteeringact.org.au
Contact us today to find out how you can join the Connections Program

The Connections Program is proudly funded by the Community Services Directorate and the Snow Foundation.