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Group61

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About Group61

Two hours a week is all it takes to enhance the life of a person living with mental illness.   

Group61 is a volunteer mental health befriending program. Our friends (people with a lived experience of mental illness) and volunteers meet regularly with the aim of reducing social isolation. As self-confidence and trust grow through their friendship, individuals are supported to rebuild social connections within their community.

 Group61 helps people to:

  • actively participate in society by building social connections
  • improve quality of life and self-confidence
  • build and improve life skills.

Become a friend

Group61 supports people who are experiencing mental health issues and/or illness and are socially isolated.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a friend or attending the next social event, please call 07 3621 4362. 

 Newsletters

Have a read of our latest newsletters:

 History

Group61 was created in 2000 when founder and community leader John Fox befriended a struggling local community member. Recognising the need for and importance of this type of support, John grew the project through his own parish networks, initially securing four volunteers for five friends.

Over the next fifteen years the project grew to support people throughout the whole of South East Queensland, from Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast, and from Brisbane to Ipswich. In July 2016, Group61 joined with Wesley Mission Queensland, marking a new chapter for the service. In 2018, Group61 received funding for two new branches of the service, Group61 Youth (currently being piloted) and Group61Companions, for those over the age of 55 years. 

 About Wesley Mission Queensland

Our services and the people we support are incredibly diverse. Each day we interact with thousands of people, all who have different goals, views, beliefs, backgrounds and abilities. We strive to be a welcoming, caring and inclusive organisation that celebrates diversity and equity for all people.

 How to donate

To support Group61, go to the main Wesley Mission Queensland donations page and select Group61 under "Direct my gift to..." when you make a donation.

Donate and support Group61

Group61Companions

One hour a week is all it takes to build a compassionate and caring friendship.

Group61Companions (G61C)  is a volunteer companionship program for people aged 55 years and over who are experiencing social isolation. Through regular meetings, we build friendships and support social inclusion and connection.

The Group61Companions program:
  • enhances quality of life through friendship
  • builds and strengthens life skills and self confidence
  • builds and strengthens social community connections.

Through its work, G61C also raises awareness of ageing and health issues for older people within the wider community.

Eligibility and cost

Group61Companions supports people aged 55 years and over who are experiencing social isolation. You may be able to access G61C through your Home Care Package or Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) funding. Alternatively, fee for service payment options are available.

We are an inclusive service, committed to helping those most at need and providing equitable access to opportunities for community connection and engagement. We have a range of funding options available (including some assistance for vulnerable groups from the Community Visitors Scheme or CVS), and are eager to talk to you about how we might be able to help overcome any financial barriers, to ensure you can also enjoy the friendship and social connection that comes from participating in the G61C program. 

Visit the My Aged Care website for more information about government funding for aged care services.

Become a friend

If you would like to find out more about becoming a friend or attending the next social event, please call 07 3621 4362. If you are a case worker or other professional support person, please download our referral form.

 How to donate

To support Group61, go to the main Wesley Mission Queensland donations page and select Group61 under "Direct my gift to..." when you make a donation.

Donate and support Group61

Volunteering Opportunities

As a volunteer program, Group61 offers a range of opportunities for volunteers to work in areas of expertise and gain new skills. While our requirements change over time, we are always in need of volunteers for befriending and coordination of other social activities.

Our ongoing volunteering opportunities include:
  • Volunteer Friend: The commitment is a regular meeting (this can be negotiated between the volunteer and friend but for example 2hrs /week) over the course of 1 year in which the volunteer takes the friend on outings such as to the local cafe, library, park, or to do some shopping.
  • Area Coordinator: Our Area Coordinators interview, match and manage the volunteers and friends in their local area. This is a bigger commitment as there are expectations around delivering training, maintaining contact with all parties, offering support to volunteers, holding regular volunteer catch ups, attending regular Area Coordination meetings and reporting.
  • Volunteer Event Coordinator: We also run social group events such as a quarterly BBQ, and fortnightly Morning Tea in the Park and we are keen to develop our social program. This is another avenue for a volunteer coordinator to organise and host less regular but equally important social events for our members.

 We also currently have an exciting opportunity for volunteers with skills in marketing and events.

How to become a volunteer

If you would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer please call 07 3621 4362. For the full list of our volunteering opportunities across all areas of Brisbane, view our volunteer position listings.  

How to donate

To support Group61, go to the main Wesley Mission Queensland donations page and select Group61 under "Direct my gift to..." when you make a donation.

 

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