October 20, 2023

New Arabic Social Support Group

Arabic Support Group members and Spectrum facilitators

A cake to welcome new Arabic Support Group membersSpectrum staff members Daniel and Asmahan

In the City of Hume, Arabic is the dominant language used at home, after English, with 9.3% of the population speaking the language (compared to 1.8% for Greater Melbourne).1

It is no surprise then that Spectrum was excited to hold the inaugural meeting of its first Arabic Social Support Group today. Five people, from Lebanon and Iraq, were welcomed to the new group by co-facilitators Daniel and Asmahan at Spectrum’s office in Dallas.

Making new connections can be a little scary, so Daniel and Asmahan kept the session low-key – an opportunity for the participants get to know each other and to learn about the aims of the program. It’s also a chance for the Spectrum team to hear from participants about the types of activities they would like to do.

Spectrum’s Social Support Groups offer activities aimed at enhancing the skills and social connections to help older people to continue living independently, as well as providing respite and support for their carers. Meeting at community centres around Melbourne, our groups offer people a range of social and cultural activities in a relaxed and fun environment.

Currently, Spectrum is running Social Support Groups for nine (Arabic makes ten!) different language groups, with participants meeting weekly to take part in a range of activities, including iPad training, exercise, art and crafts, cooking, dancing, karaoke and outings.

Back at the office, the members of the Arabic group are enjoying a delicious lunch of middle Eastern delicacies. There is the quiet chatter of people getting to know each other.

“Spectrum is fortunate to now have the facility in Dallas to run groups and be able to open up the Support Groups for Arabic speakers,” said Daniel.

“We look forward to welcoming new members to our Arabic group in the coming months.”

If you, or someone you know, is interested in joining the Arabic Social Support Group, please contact connect@spectrumvic.org.au or call 1300 735 653. Access to Social Support Groups and Centre-Based Respite groups is through My Aged Care.

[1] https://profile.id.com.au/hume/language