Resident Stories
12 September 2022
Creating a Sense of Community and Togetherness at Newport

Over the past two months, residents from the Newport Community in Port Macquarie have been coming together for their monthly ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ outing hosted by their Community Manager, Donna McHugh.

“I started hosting the ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ as a way for residents who may be feeling isolated to join in and help to create a sense of togetherness within our community. Getting together as a group of women – whether single, married, driving or not, brings us together and offers support in times when we might not realise, we need it,” said Donna.

After the success of the first ladies’ lunch in July, word spread quickly about the outing with the attendees almost doubling by the second ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ outing in August. “Our ladies who lunch outings are a great opportunity for residents to dress up, meet new people, and have a laugh together. As the Newport management team organise the lunch, it makes it a nice experience for residents to have something to look forward to and not have to worry about organising a thing! We arrange where we are going for lunch and transportation, making it easy for those who don’t drive to be included,” said Donna.

Pictured: Newport residents enjoying the 'ladies who lunch' last month

Hometown Australia endeavours to provide living experiences where residents can not only keep physically active but also socially active by meeting like-minded people. “Our residents have been through so much over the past three years, it is of significant importance that we can provide experiences such as these outings to help those who may be feeling a bit alone or even isolated. It is lovely as the Community Manager to be able to join in and nurture relationships with our residents,” said Donna.

As part of the initiative to create togetherness within the community, Newport held a Health and Wellbeing Expo on 31 August 2022 in the clubhouse for residents. “We had a fantastic turn out of over 90 residents! We enjoyed a lovely morning tea with guest speakers from Hastings Physio Health, Vital Living, Home Instead, Linked Community Transport and Priest Legal Solicitors,” said Donna. During the expo the team also took expressions of interest for gentle yoga classes and line dancing, with 18 residents putting their names down for the yoga classes and an amazing 24 for the line dancing. “On the day, we provided literature and took donations for the upcoming R U OK? Day to highlight the importance of discussing mental health and how to offer support to friends and loved ones,” said Donna.

Pictured: Donna and Ash from the Newport Community management team dressed in yellow to support the upcoming R U OK? Day initiative

“We are looking forward to the ‘ladies who lunch’ September outing and many more lunches filled with good company, conversation and of course, laughs!” concluded Donna.

To learn more about what life could look like visit Newport on our website.

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