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Welcome to our Summer and festive edition of Get Moving Greater Bendigo.

As we approach the end of what has been a challenging year I hope you can reflect on the positives. It is hard to know, but Iet's hope we have been through the worst of this pandemic and the new year brings some relief.    

No matter what your religion or whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this time of year can be equally happy, but also emotionally distressing for some. The best gift we can give our community is kindness and respect.

In this edition of Get Moving we have featured some interesting information and activities for our older community members. We always welcome local stories to share, if you know of other items of interest please email so we can include them in our next newsletter.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and relaxing festive season. 
Community festive meals and NYE celebrations
If you will be alone on Christmas, there are a range of free Community Christmas Meal events taking place this month so people can share in the joy of Christmas.

Join volunteers from the Women of Colour project for a delicious and free multicultural feast on Sunday 26th December, 12.30pm onwards at The Old Church on The Hill. Text 0401 397 129 to reserve a seat. *Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement of entry.

We are also fortunate to have some great local community groups and volunteers to support residents feeling isolated or financially challenged by the festive season, and thank you to the businesses that have donated items to make these events special.

The following groups will be hosting events:

◾ Bendigo Australia Indonesia Klub
◾ Elmore Foodshare
◾ Heathcote Foodshare
◾ Heathcote Community House
◾ Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services
◾ The Salvation Army

For full details and how to register, visit:

You can also enjoy the New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the sky from Queen Elizabeth Oval at 9.15pm and midnight on Friday December 31.

Please make sure your animals and pets are secure and kept safe during the New Year celebrations.

Get Moving videos and guide to download
Loddon Mallee Region Move It project encourages you to get out there, get active.
Get Moving – was an initiative designed to get inactive people aged 65 and older more active, and continues today with some motivating videos and a guide you can download below:

Videos have also been published about the benefits of staying active through regular physical activities for older adults because it helps improve bone strength, increases energy levels, regulates blood pressure, improves sleep and helps prevents diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Watch the series of videos below: 
Have you tried the Bendigo Christmas Hunt yet?
A free Christmas adventure hunt app that helps you and your family explore Bendigo to find Christmas characters and icons is available to try today.

Discover some new play spaces with your grandchildren and different parks you might not have visited while also seeing some of the City’s Christmas decorations along the way.

There are 18 locations across Bendigo and surrounds, collect any 10 to go into the draw to win a ‘Bendigo voucher’ valued at $250!

Find out how to download the free app and join in the fun at:
Congratulations to our local seniors

Fifty local older residents with a positive attitude to ageing, nominated by members of the community, were delighted to receive a celebration box of delicious Uniquely Bendigo treats as part of the City of Greater Bendigo’s 2021 Bendigo Seniors Festival.

The City was pleased to provide an opportunity for people to nominate older residents aged over 65 who make a difference in our community and deserved to be recognised by receiving a celebration box of delicious local treats to enjoy.

Nominations were received from across Greater Bendigo and staff from the City’s Community Wellbeing unit personally delivered the celebration boxes to the recipients in October. They included people who volunteer for community groups, kind neighbours and people who care for their partners, families and friends.

The initiative demonstrate the values of community connection and the generosity of people who volunteer their time to help others.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a worthy recipient and a big congratulations to all the recipients for everything you do to make Greater Bendigo such a great place to live and age positively!

Floreena Forbes recipient of the 2021 COTA Senior Achiever Award
The wonderful contributions of older Victorians have been celebrated with the announcement of the 2021 Victorian Senior of the Year Awards.

For more than 25 years, the Victorian Senior of the Year Awards have recognised the volunteer work and community contributions of older Victorians. 

This year we celebrate Bendigo's very own Floreena Forbes, 83, who is the recipient of the 2021 COTA Senior Achiever Award.

Floreena creates a positive difference to her community through her many volunteering commitments, in particular her work in the music and community radio sectors. She hosts a weekly country music program on local Phoenix FM and mentors and trains many community members. 

Floreena also runs an annual concert to raise money for a little-known genetic condition called The Australian Nieman Pick disease. These shows are always sold out with a waiting list of people who would like to go and over time she has raised in excess of $20,000 through her efforts.

The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards are presented annually as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival. Award recipients will be celebrated in person with a ceremony at Government House in early 2022. 
A home for Christmas
Bendigo Animal Relief Centre has so many beautiful cats available for adoption and keen to see them settled into their new homes by Christmas, so for a short time they have reduced the adoption price of adult cats to $60, and Senior cats over 7 years of age to $25.

It is a well-known anecdotal fact that owning a pet cat helps lower stress, decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation, and helps owners feel they have a purpose; but there is quite a bit of scientific research which backs this belief.
  • Cats may control blood pressure better than medicine alone.
  • Cats decrease the risk of fatal cardiovascular diseases.
  • Patting a cat can lower cortisol levels
The Bendigo Animal Relief Centre (BARC) takes in over 1300 unwanted cats and kittens each year. Many of these cats are peaceful and mature cats that need a loving home. 

View each photo to see the cats name, age, breed and microchip number, and head to the website: to read their bios and view all the animals currently available for adoption!

U3A Open day 
Find out what's available at the U3A in Bendigo at their open day on January 27.

U3A Bendigo offers a wide range of activities throughout the year. These include activities and courses, which may be short or long, and range from formal language studies through to recreational and social activities.

All activities and courses are run during the day for the convenience of members at a range of venues within the Greater Bendigo area.

You can get involved as a leader, member or volunteer. 

Contact U3A for more details: 
0490 858 469
Looking after your mental wellbeing
You may be experiencing feelings of anxiety, distress and concern in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) or the stress that can sometimes come with the festive season. 

It's important that you look after your health and wellbeing during this time. 

The Information or assistance during COVID-19 document provides detailed information on the  support services available to people in general and locally. There is information on financial support, housing and accommodation assistance, mental health assistance, crisis support, food relief, business support and family violence resources available.

5 Ways to Wellbeing outlines 5 simple things that we can do each day to improve our wellbeing and happiness while we remain mostly in our homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The below resources may help with processing the impact of COVID-19:
Bendigo Health
Bendigo Mental Health Services provide high quality mental health care to Loddon Campaspe Southern Mallee communities. See the website for detailed information about the services and resources provided.
Phone: 5454 6000

If you or anyone you know needs help: 
The Beyond Blue website also features a range of helpful resources.

For specific COVID-19 information, phone 1800 675 398

Get Moving acknowledges that the City of Greater Bendigo is on Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country. We pay our respect to leaders and Elders past, present and emerging for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of all Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Peoples.
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