Increased support set to enhance lives of older Queenslanders

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A new round of support to help the aged to live well was recently announced by the Eastern Star Foundation. The latest grant round, totalling $335,000, will help five Queensland charities enhance the lives of their elderly clients, including World Wellness Group, The Legacy Club of Queensland, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Happy Paws Happy Hearts Foundation, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association Queensland.

Eastern Star Foundation Chair, Jonathan Nantes, said that the Foundation was proud to be able to provide the most support ever to older Queenslanders since becoming a philanthropic foundation in 2019.

“This year, we have increased our total grant funding and have awarded grants to these five worthy organisations to help the aged to practice choice, participate in their community, have a support network and experience healthy ageing,” said Mr Nantes.

The largest grant of $100,000 was awarded to World Wellness Group to help fund their Multicultural Healthy Ageing Social Link Program for a further twelve months. This is the second year that a grant of $100,000 has been given to the charity, with last year’s grant helping to establish the program. Around 65 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) seniors on Brisbane’s Northside are now engaging with the program each month, and it has proven successful in helping them to connect locally to information, resources, and social activities that are culturally appropriate and safe. An external evaluation of the program is also being conducted to build evidence of its impact and to assist with securing longer-term funding.

Elderly War Widows across Queensland will benefit from a grant of $60,000 to the Legacy Club of Brisbane’s Elderly Widows Program. The grant will help support Legacy’s complex case management service, which develops individual plans for widows to address their needs. It will also support their network of 45 Laurel Socialisation Clubs, which are attended by over 450 elderly members, providing them with the opportunity to socialise and access peer support. 

More aged Queenslanders will benefit from the power of music thanks to a grant of $60,000 to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO). The grant will help fund their Health and Wellbeing Program (Healthy Ageing) which will see small QSO ensembles visit and perform to around 500 aged care residents living in facilities across Southeast and regional Queensland, along with two large-scale performances tailored to an ageing demographic each year in Brisbane. Music has been found to deliver powerful social, cognitive, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits for older adults, particularly those living with dementia. Assistance will also be provided to help QSO build an evaluation framework to measure the impact of the Program.

Happy Paws Happy Hearts will receive a grant of $65,000 to help start their “Hearts and Paws Connect” Intergenerational Ageing Program which will see young people connect with ageing communities in Queensland to deliver rescue animal demonstrations, experiences, and interactions in partnership with aged care facilities. Together, the program provides both generations with the opportunity to connect to their community, have dignity, and feel hope for a different future through meaningful time spent together with rescue animals who also enjoy the additional time out of enclosures!

Queenslanders living with Motor Neurone Disease and their loved ones and carers will benefit from a $50,000 grant for this year to Motor Neurone Disease Association QLD. The grant will help to fund their Free Equipment for the Over 65s project, which aims to help close the significant gap in equipment hire available to people over 65 years of age who are living with the disease. Having this essential equipment will provide them with more independence, communication, and socialisation.

“We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to recognise, celebrate, and hear how our latest grant recipients will impact the lives of the aged at the recent Order of the Eastern Star Grand Chapter of Queensland Installation. We look forward to hearing and sharing more about how these grants are improving outcomes,” said Mr Nantes.


Photo: Eastern Star Foundation 2024 grant recipients with Eastern Star Foundation Directors and Order of the Eastern Star Grand Office Bearers at the recent Grand Chapter of Queensland Installation.

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