Embracing community

Embracing community

The Circular Head community is set to benefit from a Tasmanian Community Fund grant to work towards alleviating social isolation. 

The funding will support the foundation of the Rural Health program Embracing Community, which aims to lift victims out of social isolation by providing a space for locals to interact with each other through programs and events. 

To celebrate the launch, Rural Health threw a ‘Pizza and Pasta Party in the Park’ at Wedge Street Park last Wednesday. 

Party-goers were treated to free pizza, pasta and sausages as well as access to health initiatives and activities for kids. 

The grant will also go towards keeping the Wedge Street Community House up and running. 

Facilitator Glenda Maher says the house provides a friendly environment for people of all backgrounds to connect with others. 

Rural Health Smithton’s service coordinator Kate Cross was also visibly excited about the establishment of Embracing Community. 

“This program is so important and I feel like we could make real progress in this area,” she says.

“Social isolation affects all areas of health, not just social health but mental and physical health too. “It’s important we engage with victims and help draw them out of that circumstance.”

Those involved with the program have the opportunity to take part in arts and crafts, tend to a community garden, join walk and talk groups, discuss food and nutrition ideas, cook and much more. 

“This program can provide a sense of purpose for many who are down and out, just like the Community House already has,” says Kate. 

Kate expressed a fondness for how locals treated the house, pointing out a new welcome sign, a well kept garden and newly painted garden skirting. 

“It may not seem like much but this house – and soon this program – means a lot to some people.” 

Rural Health Smithton service coordinator Kate Cross and Wedge Street Community House facilitator Glenda Maher (front) with locals are making a difference to social isolation within the community with the launch of the new Embracing Community program. Picture: Isaac Popowski.