Helping our Hospital Heroes Australia, Deb.

“I’d been to New Zealand so was in isolation at home in Anglesea for 14 days. It was day 4, and it was driving me up the wall. So, when my friend asked me if I could sew some hats for nurses, it gave me a sense of purpose. Now making hats is giving purpose to hundreds of happy sewers and we’re supplying hospitals all over Australia.” We hear from Deb Elliott, Co-ordinator of the Helping our Hospital Heroes Australia Project . Please share! “We ask for amazing volunteers across the country to make hats or donate fabric. The volunteers not only have a sense of purpose but they communicate and connect over the project too.

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“My friend was from the Rotary Club of Sunbury, Victoria, they’d received a request from one of their members, who is a Nursing Unit Manager at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, looking for volunteers to make hats for nurses.

“Nurses don’t normally wear hats on hospital wards but they wish to now, as they have been informed that the virus can remain on surfaces for up to 4 days. While many wear their hair up, it is still an area that is left vulnerable. Both male and female nurses want to protect their families as much as possible and don’t want to run the risk of taking the virus home with them. These hats are not intended to replace Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

Continue reading “Helping our Hospital Heroes Australia, Deb.”

National Volunteer Week Awards.

Is there a volunteer you’d like to see rewarded? Please share. The Volunteer Ambassador Awards, aim to celebrate champion volunteers who are doing great things in our community!

genU in partnership with Volunteering Geelong, and Humans in Geelong, are searching for 6-8 volunteers that would be happy to share their inspiring volunteering story and act as ambassadors in order to raise awareness about the power of volunteering during National Volunteer Week (NVW) May 18-24, 2020.


The year 2020 has seen extremely difficult and life-changing events, which have had a huge impact on communities and organisations. We know that volunteers continue to play a huge part in responding to the needs of their communities during these challenging times. This NVW we want to ensure that we celebrate and share the inspiring stories of volunteers who are going above and beyond, and by doing so are “changing communities, changing lives.”

We know that these volunteers are extremely humble and not likely to self-nominate to share their story, despite their outstanding contribution to their community – so we are seeking nominations from organisations.

Nominations for Volunteer Ambassadors will open on Monday 13th April and will close on Monday 4th May 2020. We’ll share a link to the electronic nomination form when nominations open.

Unfortunately, the Thank You Event scheduled for Friday 22nd May, 2:00 – 4:00pm has been cancelled.

Thank you for celebrating volunteering in our region and for embracing NVW initiatives in 2020!

Information on behalf of genU, Volunteering Geelong and Humans in Geelong. Photo: Rotary Club of Kardinia Volunteers at the Humans in Geelong Expo 2019 taken by Jake Langenegger.

Kyle’s Mum’s story, Keran.

Trigger Warning – this story discusses suicidal thoughts, strategies and hope.

“We had no idea that our son, Kyle, was struggling with his mental health. At 15, he became suicidal. This was the scariest time for Pepe and me.” We hear from Kyle Jdali’s mum, Keran. Read Kyle’s story on Humans in Geelong website.

“Growing up as a toddler, young child and teen, Kyle would often have temper tantrums and be more emotionally sensitive. I remember speaking to a nurse once when Kyle was about 10 years old and she told me that it was very normal in today’s society for children to go through puberty and hormonal changes at a younger age.
Kyle and Keran

“He seemed like any other normal teenager who liked to be by himself, a bit sulky at times, so on that Sunday (March 2018), when he came to talk to Pepe and I, we were in complete shock. We managed to hold it together and praised him for opening up.

“Naturally, we blamed ourselves. What could we have done differently? We’d always been a very close, connected family who ate meals together, played board games, talked, went out for meals etc. Later Kyle told me that because I had shared my own mental health struggles as a teenager, it had helped him to open up. We had no idea that Kyle had been feeling so low, and I know only too well how easy it is to live two lives, you can hide it so well. It could happen to anyone.

Continue reading “Kyle’s Mum’s story, Keran.”

Angel Next Door.

Could you use or be an Angel Next Door? An unusual upside to the Aussie toilet paper crisis is proving a saviour for people stranded by the coronavirus shutdown. Geelong’s Aamir Qutub, like many others, found himself caught short of toilet paper and called his sister, Saba, to see if she could help.

Luckily, she could. But triggered a Eureka moment for the web developer, who threw himself into a website project he’s called Angel Next Door.

Angel Next Door harnesses the goodwill of local neighbourhoods to help people doing it tough in the coronavirus shutdown. “Aussies are quick to help others in a crisis but, right now, it’s hard to know just who needs help or where to turn when they do,” he said.

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“Angel Next Door is helping to fix that with a simple website that offers greater security and privacy than other help sites. Plenty of people are doing tough right now. It’s not just toilet paper – they’re facing challenges with food, with groceries, medicines, money, jobs, stress and lots more.

Continue reading “Angel Next Door.”

Pen Pals needed.

“Could you write a letter to an elderly local to make their day? If you’re searching for a way to help someone during COVID-19 why not join this Pen Pals program. Brighten up a senior’s day by sending them a letter, a drawing or video. Simply register at and we’ll match you up with someone.”

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The new facebook page for @penpalsathomeinstead is

This initiative comes from local Giselle and her Italian husband Giovanni, the owners and directors of Geelong’s Home Instead which is based in Pakington St, Geelong West. They care for over 350 elderly in our community and saw the need for this initiative. They are encouraging the community to write to our most vulnerable. To share messages of hope and joy, to make seniors feel connected with their community and to help them overcome any feelings of loneliness that they may be experiencing.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with responses already from 11-year-olds to all ages. We pass their messages of hope on to our clients and those connected with age care. If the senior agrees to join in, they are welcome to reply back. It could be the same message that might be read to a number of people, bringing hope and joy to many. It is nice to share videos and drawings also.

Continue reading “Pen Pals needed.”

Rainbow trails and we’re going on a bear hunt.

Geelong residents are getting in to the swing of things. All for the kids! Please share and post your photos in comments on our facebook page. People are popping out bears for all the kids who are participating in ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! Geelong and Outer Suburbs’ and/or joining in ‘Rainbow Trail Australia’

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My teddy thought he’d try 2 in 1 and wear a rainbow sock on his head. What are your teddy’s up to? We’re loving the caring, colourful chalk messages neighbour’s children are writing regularly. Thanks everyone for keeping things positive!

Thanks to the families and friends who have sent in their photos.

With One Voice Choir, Live Streams.

Let’s get through this with song!

With One Voice have come up with a way that you can join in the choir from the comfort of your living room, kitchen, or even shower (if you have a water-proof speaker!), as they move their rehearsals online.  Geelong’s very own Kym Dillon is just one of the many With One Voice conductors right around Australia putting together live streams 5 nights a week. Singing is a great way to engage your brain, and connecting with the live stream With One Voice community will certainly make you buzz with positive energy.

Kym WOV, online

The With One Voice live stream page is very much open to the public and on five week nights: Geelong’s Kym Dillon will be leading us in song from 6.30pm tonight, so why not check it out. You can read the #humansingeelong story on Kym on our website at

For more information about With One Voice Community Choir Ph: 03 8679 6088 Website:

Happy singing everyone!

Story: Sarah Treacy. Photo: Phil Hines