Integrated into a busy network of five Community Houses*, Be The Ripple is a palliative support project located at the heart of the Knox City community. “People access Houses to stay connected, learn, laugh, celebrate, grieve, re-engage, remember, gain support, for respite or simply be in the company of others”, says Maureen McConnell, Networker of Community Houses Association of the Outer Eastern Suburbs (CHAOS).
“Our Houses are accessed by people of all life stages, ages and abilities including people with life limiting illness, their families and friends. Community Houses are not primary or allied health care providers. Be the Ripple project recognizes that quality specialist palliative care services and general medical care, hospitals and allied health providers exist within the Outer East Region of Melbourne.”
Be The Ripple supports community members in three ways:
- Engaging communities to have conversations and extend knowledge around dying and death, choices in end of life care, grief and loss, Advance Care Planning and end of life celebrations.
- Resourcing individuals and families with information to support and care for a relative who wishes to die at home. The project is developing a series of workshops in collaboration with specialist services, to learn about caring for a chronic/terminally ill person at home, where to get assistance and how to support the caring journey.
- Providing in-home support through trained volunteers. This may include social activities, transport, companionship, dog walking, gardening as well as the opportunity for carers to have time out.
“We aim to complement specialist support that may be in place through the regional palliative care services and other in-home services to ensure community members receive care according to their wishes, at the end of their lives,” says Leonie Scott, Coordinator, Be the Ripple Project.
“Thank you for hosting the Christmas Tree of Remembrance at Knox Westfield. It was lovely to be able to write a card for my friend who died a few years ago,” said one participant. “And then the beautiful ceremony which followed, supported me in remembering her at Christmas time, and made a big difference”.
Community Houses have worked directly with communities for decades and engage in many health prevention activities that support both physical, mental and emotional health and well being. The Houses reflect the needs of the local community and are governed and used by local residents.
Be the Ripple builds on the vibrant and complex network of relationships between the Community Houses and other community partners in the region, collaborating, sharing resources, supporting new ways of connecting.
If you live in or near Knox, we would love to hear from you.
For more information or referrals please contact Leonie Scott 0417 361 411 or Maureen McConnell on 0409 021 055. Our new website betheripple.com.au will be launched mid March.
Written by Maureen McConnell
* Also known as Neighbourhood Houses, Community Centres, Living and Learning Centres.
Leonie Scott, Coordinator, Be the Ripple Project