Language champions sought in Clifton Hill

March 22, 2015 by  

Yarra is on the lookout for a group of bilingual older people to help with a new council scheme.

The council is starting a Senior Ambassadors Programme, which is designed to help people who may feel isolated because English is their second language.

The new scheme will see people who speak Italian and Greek visiting groups within the community and holding discussions in their first language, then raising their concerns with the council.

Yarra Mayor, Councillor Phillip Vlahogiannis, hopes the programme will help to overcome barriers. He said:

“The program is designed to build older residents’ resilience and participation in community and neighbourhood life, to prolong independent living and maintain residents’ wellbeing. Through the Senior Ambassadors Program, Council hopes to build the capacity of older residents to utilize Council services and to ensure these services are meeting their needs.”

To publicise the scheme, the council could consider poster printing in Italian and Greek, which could be displayed in the local community.

Clifton Hill is among the areas that have been chosen to participate in the first 12-month trial, after which the scheme will be rated to determine its success.

Volunteers must be aged at least 50 years old and should have a good standard of English, as well as a strong command of Italian or Greek.

For more details about the initiative, visit the council’s website. Nominations must be submitted by Thursday, March 26.