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Neighbourhood Carers Club

It was nearly a month ago that we launched Clunes Neighbourhood Carers Club and while the Parlour’s been open for informal catch ups each week since, the real nitty gritty of what a Club in Clunes might look like is now up to us.

Gifts at the launch: handmade soap by a local artisan.

So, What Could Work for You?

Here’s what we heard at the launch.  Carers circumstances are all so different.  There will not be a ‘one size fits all’ solution for all of the Club members we sign up – and we can work with that!

Our carers (informal or formal) are:

  • Parents of young children juggling busy lives

  • Mum’s and dad’s with their own health challenges caring for adult children

  • Men and women caring for partners (LGBTIQ+)

  • Retired people living a different kind of retirement to the one they’d envisioned

  • Working couples struggling to cover all bases

  • People living with loved ones who have chronic illnesses or learning difficulties that all mean a different type of care is needed.  

Basically any kind of scenario that can happen, when you are a human and living your life.

Here is what we also heard as we’ve chatted in the parlour over coffee.  Despite the differences, there are lots of similarities as well. 

  • Carers need easier access to common services locally ie Centrelink, MyAged Care, NDIS, Respite

  • Carers are time poor and also need flexibility, so Club activities that you can opt in and out of as you need them might be just the trick

  • Many carers have strategies that work, but when they don’t, that’s when a support network really counts

  • Carers don’t have much space for themselves, so if we can help with that, all the better

Here is what we are thinking?

Given all that, here is what we think the Clunes Neighbourhood Carers Club can now involve.

  • Club member VIP card: handy for your wallet includes important contact numbers and enables you to access relevant offers we are going to work hard to negotiate

  • Club journal: handy tool that you can have with you at any time, chock full of local links to support as well as tips and exercises to catch your breath

  • Regular time to just drop in and have a coffee

  • Regular calendar of guest services ie Centrellink, MyAged Care, Central Highlands Rural Health that you can connect with locally

  • …and other random stuff when we need it!  [Verbatim: a suggestion from one new club member who saw flexibility as the big advantage of a local carers club ]

These were ideas we’d had in mind when we launched the club, but it’s also been suggested that we do the following as well.

  • Setting up a closed Facebook page for all of us to communicate – supported by a team of qualified counsellors. 

This is a new initiative but one we are seeking support to develop because so many people suggested it as a vital tool for them, especially when they can’t easily get out and about.

Want to be a part of the Club? REGISTER NOW

If you are caring for someone you love, you aren't alone. In fact, in Clunes alone, nearly 250 people are paid or unpaid carers. If you are interested in being a part of the Clunes Neighbourhood Carers Club don’t hesitate to register or pop in.  We are open Tuesday – Thursday, 9.30am to 2pm and can be contacted on 03 5345 4078.

The partners we are working with to help support us do this include:

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