Since January 2016, a Linker from Vinnies and a Linker from SSI have been working in collaboration with Eva Liu from CASS to facilitate the Inner West Sydney Chinese Carers group. This project arose after a person both Linkers were working with identified the need for a social group for older carers of people with disability – a gap that also had been identified by CASS.
A group of 10 carers gathered for the first time in April 2016 and since then the group has made steps toward becoming a self- sustainable group, with the carers having identified their own group leaders; meeting independently on a bi-monthly basis.
The group identified that exercise and time to look after their health was important to their role as carers. Together with the group leaders, the Linker investigated options for exercise opportunities and eventually connected with a Zumba teacher who was sensitive to the health of the carers and had experience supporting people from a CALD background. The carers then arranged for the Zumba teacher to attend carers group in September to teach a class. The class was a successful one with 15 carers in attendance for the class, after which the carers arranged morning tea. Positive connections were established with the Zumba teacher booked to return and teach later in the year, and with the Zumba teacher inviting the carers to attend other free opportunities to dance in the community.