Elderly War Widows, like Helen, will continue to stay connected thanks to a renewed commitment of support and a further grant of $50,000 from the Eastern Star Foundation to the Australian War Widows Queensland (AWWQ) this year.
Like many widows, Helen said that after her husband passed away, she felt lonely and socially isolated until hearing about AWWQ from a friend.
“It’s become a lifeline for me. I thoroughly enjoy the company of fellow War Widows and go home from meetings and events feeling light and happy,” said Helen.
However, due to health and mobility issues, transport to and from meetings and events was a struggle for Helen until the Eastern Star Foundation provided AWWQ with a grant. The grant of $50,000 from the Foundation contributed towards the annual Sub-branch Taxi Subsidy Program which has helped War Widows, like Helen, to stay connected with their community. The grant has also contributed towards the fuel and running costs of a minivan which was purchased from a prior $100,000 grant from the Eastern Star Foundation last year.
“I would take three buses to attend AWWQ meetings and had trouble getting on and off the buses. Since the Taxi Subsidy Program was funded by the Eastern Star Foundation, travelling to meetings has not only become pleasant and comfortable but travel time has been cut from two hours to less than ten minutes,” said Helen.
“The grant from Eastern Star Foundation has given me the gift of transport, which means I have a new lease on life. The social interactions mean I am surrounded by lovely genuine, caring ladies at AWWQ who all share a common bond and support each other through life’s ups and downs.”
War Widows Queensland State President Jennifer Gregory said that the organisation was extremely grateful to the Eastern Star Foundation for the grant of $100,000 last year and the further grant of $50,000 this year.
“Depression and loneliness are an increasing problem for the elderly, and we are so grateful for the transport assistance funded by the Eastern Star Foundation as it enables our members to continue to stay connected, socialise, and foster quality relationships,” said Ms Gregory.
Eastern Star Foundation Chairman, Jonathan Nantes, said the Foundation’s purpose was to provide grants to organisations, empowering them to provide dignity, hope and independence for the aged.
“We support evidence-based programs and initiatives that help the aged to remain independent, practice choice, participate in their community and have a support network,” said Jonathan.
This year, the Eastern Star Foundation has awarded over $272,000 in grant funding to empower organisations that help to enhance the quality of life for our ageing communities. In addition to the grant to AWWQ this year, grants were also awarded to Gunther Village at Gayndah, The Humour Foundation, and Dementia Australia.