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We're in the news!

We're in the news!

The good folks at Warrandyte Diary just published an article on our Connecting Manningham program in their October Edition. Here is the text, if you are interested:

Connecting community to overcome adversity

By SUSAN FOREMAN

THE CURRENT pandemic has caused social isolation, affected community wellbeing, and has caused massive disruption to businesses.

To combat these detrimental effects of COVID-19, Rotary Club of Templestowe along with Manningham Rotaract have created the Connecting Manningham program.

President of the Rotary Club of Templestowe, Brian Negus said the program identified three ways the Connecting Manningham initiative could assist:

• Connecting to neighbours and spreading kindness: Through the spread of goodwill and positivity through an online presence, encouraging others to do the same, and to create a space that inspires community connection in a manner different from a traditional service organisation.

• Connecting to services and business and supporting local: By creating platforms for local businesses to promote themselves on our page and connecting our members to the vast variety of community services that are remaining active throughout the pandemic.

• Connecting to programs and meeting new people: The initiative has been facilitated by Manningham Rotaract in the creation of four months of online programs, on the Facebook page. The programs have included cooking classes, personal training, arts and crafts, book clubs, university seminars, make up tutorials, story time for younger children, yoga, meditation and more.

Tutors have volunteered their time to make the classes open, free, and accessible.

Currently, the Connecting Manningham Facebook group has over 600 members including almost every major service within the municipality such as Manningham Council, Doncare, Manningham Learns, Living and Learning at Ajani.

Brian said the first few months have been about delivering Phase 1 of the program “to build the community through engaging online content and developing a shared understanding and appreciation for connection”.

He said the program is looking to evolve very soon, having successfully made it past its “pilot phase”. Phases two and three of the initiative, which are set to commence in the next two months, will see further development and expansion of the program to support broader community benefit.

“We have just received great news of a significant Community Health and Wellbeing Grant from the City of Manningham, which will enable us to deliver our planned extensions of the program.

Brian said there are three aspects to these further initiatives:

• Spreading kindness through the connection of volunteers: To create opportunities for services to post their need for volunteers and connect them with perspective individuals within the community.

• Creating a platform to connect the public to businesses and services: Through partnership with numerous organizations and services, we will be creating a business and service search engine designed to allow organisations to market themselves more openly and inspire local growth.

• Diversifying our program catalogue inviting opportunities for new tutors: They will be opening up our program catalogue to exterior members of the community who may wish to facilitate their own sessions on topics they are passionate about.

This will give the opportunity for residents of Manningham to share their knowledge in an exciting and modern way.

Brian said none of this would have been possible without the dedication of the two clubs.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the individuals within both the Rotary Club of Templestowe and Manningham Rotaract who have gone above and beyond for their community.”

If you would like to be involved or learn more, visit www.facebook.com/groups/connectingmanningham