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Have you looked over the fence, lately?

ACROSS the Glenelg Shire, a simple postcard is making a big difference – giving isolated individuals a much-needed lifeline by offering help.

The ‘hello neighbour’ postcards, distributed by United Way Glenelg, allow people to leave their name and phone number to volunteer to lend a helping hand for free, by offering to do such tasks as pick-up emergency groceries, medication, do friendly phone call check-ins, put out the bins and more.

The postcard is then left in a mailbox or under the door of a neighbour who may need support. 

Executive Officer, Nicole Carr said the postcards were a great way for people to step up and help others in their community.

“We’re finding people without access to technology, but who need help, are reaching out,” she said.

“Sometimes they're too proud to ask; it also makes it easy for people to offer to help.”

The postcards have been distributed to businesses around Casterton and will be dropped in mailboxes over the coming weeks.

It can also be downloaded and printed.

Casterton Community Centre’s Lisa McDonald encouraged everyone to take the opportunity to use the cards and reach out to a neighbour in need.

“This is a great initiative; there are many people in our community, not just seniors, who are isolated with no family in the local area,” Ms McDonald said.

“Just a ‘hello’ over the fence or getting one of these postcards, can make a huge difference in someone’s day.”

She encouraged all residents to reach out to their neighbours in a safe way and practise safe physical distancing.

“Remember to always stay 1.5m away, wear your mask, not gather in groups, stay home if you’re sick and wash your hands regularly,” she said.

The community centre is still operating all of its non-contact programs, including daily Telecare calls and the talking newspaper, for vision-impaired residents.

Anyone needing the centre’s assistance can phone 5581 2139.

The ‘hello neighbour’ project is the second in United Way Glenelg’s ‘Acts of Local Love’ campaign, aimed at engendering a sense of community spirit.

Last week, United Way Glenelg launched ‘Help us say Thank You’ to an essential worker, which allows community members to nominate an essential worker who has made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, to receive a complementary morning coffee.

To nominate a deserving worker, jump on the United Way Glenelg Facebook page and tag them in the Help Us Say Thank You post, name who they work for and what makes them awesome.

Recipients could be anyone who is providing great service – your local rubbish collector, teacher, checkout operator, aged care worker, nurse or doctor – the criteria are simply what makes them awesome to you!

You can nominate as many workers as you like whenever you like and each morning, at 8am, the team at United Way Glenelg will post the names of the day’s 10 coffee recipients on the @unitedwayglenelg Facebook and Instagram page.

The recipients can pop into the participating local cafes – Herbert’s Bakery here in Casterton, Bahloo in Portland and Heywood Bakery in Heywood – to collect their morning brew, or appropriate substitute, if they are not coffee drinkers.

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