RESILIENT Ararat is going digital and contactless in a bid to keep the community connected amid social isolation restrictions.
The Resilience Project spin-off is run by Central Grampians LLEN in partnership with schools and health organisations around Ararat and aims to teach mental health skills to the community.
The project launched in December 2019 and several initiatives were in the works, but CGLLEN youth project officer Jane Moriarty said they have had to rethink them so they can work with Victoria's stage three restrictions.
The project's most recent initiative is called Kindness In The Mail, said Central Grampians LLEN youth project officer Jane Moriarty.
The initiative, which is being conducted in partnership with East Grampians Health Service, is inviting children to send in their art, stories and letters to be delivered to retirement home residences.
The mail is distributed between Garden View Court, Lowe Street, and Parkland House Hostel Willaura residents.
"The response to Kindness in the Mail has been great and we will continue to run this project and deliver to the residents for the weeks to come while we are still receiving mail," Ms Moriarty said.
Project organisers will continue looking for other ways to engage safely with the community, Ms Moriarty said.
"We did have to postpone a lot of our activities for Resilient Ararat due to the COVID-19 restrictions around events and social distancing, however we have been planning over the last couple of weeks on how to keep the project active in a virtual space," she said.
"We are planning ways to use online platforms like Zoom for meetings and virtual activities.
"This will allow us to resume committee meetings with the newly restructured governance group for the project, the Ararat Community Resilience Network.
"In the next few weeks we will also be in contact with the schools to see how we can support them in the resilience space, but this will be once they are further into Term 2.
"We'll also be looking at contactless activities similar to Kindness in the Mail, so watch this space."
Project organisers have also increased Resilient Ararat's social media presence to help engage people.
"We are sharing a variety of resources and activities for positive mental health and support via Facebook and Instagram," Ms Moriarty said.
"These are for all ages and may be useful for parents to fill in some time as students across our 11 participating schools are beginning remote learning this week and are spending more time at home in general."
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