Be Kind Maroondah

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As we move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we continue to Be kind to ourselves, Be kind to others and Be kind to our businesses.

According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 15% of Australians aged 16 t 85yrs experience high/very high levels of stress with 20% (one in five) of Australians aged 16 to 34yrs experience high/very high levels of stress

Did you know that one act of kindness each day can reduce stress, anxiety and depression? Now is the time to be kind and look after your mental wellbeing. 

Current activities

Get involved

We encourage you to join our community initiatives as we work to improve the metal wellbeing of our community. If you have any queries regarding these activities, please email Community Wellbeing at maroondah@maroondah.vic.gov.au or call 1300 88 22 33. 

Be kind to others

bekindweb-toothers.jpg We are all individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses so situations like coronavirus can affect different people in different ways. 

Useful tips

If you’d like to help others in our community, here are some useful tips:

  • Keep an eye on your neighbours and family members - have a casual chat over the fence, give them a call or meet up for a cuppa.
  • Offer to shop for someone who has limited mobility.
  • Consider setting up a facebook group with friends or neighbours so you can share your thoughts, resources and ask for help if needed.
  • Help others if you see or hear of someone in need.
  • Organise a catch up at your house with family or friends where everyone brings a plate to share.
  • Volunteer your time at a local organisation or community centre.
  • Practice patience, mindfulness and kindness and encourage others to do the same.
  • Maroondah’s Community Houses are available for individual support, education, health and wellbeing activities and emergency relief.

Helping out your neighbours 

Do you have some spare time? Would you like to help your neighbours?

We have put together a Neighbour Help Card for you. If you’d like to help your neighbours, just print off the card, fill in your details, and leave it in their letter box. They can call you if they need any help.

If you don’t have a printer, we can print the card and post it out to you. Call us on 1300 88 22 33 or email maroondah@maroondah.vic.gov.au. 

Be Kind Neighbour card(PDF, 70KB)

Thank you for your help

Would you like to thank someone who has helped you over the past few months?

We have a Thank you card all ready for you to use or you can make your own using our template.

You can:

Do you know someone who is lonely, isolated or just would like someone to talk to? Outer East Phone Line chat  is offering just that - a friendly chat. Call 1800 984 825, Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and Monday to Thursday 5pm to 9pm. 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged community members to send in their stories of kindness, whether it was about others, yourself or local business. The purpose of sharing these stories was to allow community members to share some of their positive pandemic experiences with fellow community members. These messages were extremely powerful and brought a smile to some people’s faces on some of the loneliest days.

Thank you everyone who sent in a story. 

Thank you for our dolls face masks

A big thank you to a Maroondah City Council employee who made some face masks for their Occasional Care dolls. The children have enjoyed adding these to their hospital/safety play. This allows the educators to have spontaneous conversations about why people are wearing masks in the community during COVID19, what masks are doing to protect people and why it is not only hospital workers wearing them.

5 minutes mindful practice - Saying hello… I am here…

My dear loving community,

It brings me great joy to share the first 5 minutes mindful practice with you. Here it goes…

Hello I am here…

We will be do this practice over next 7 days. Every day we will add one little element (which is optional). Why, because our mind is very good at giving us many excuses to not drop in present moment, to name a few:

  • Oh! it’s the same practice. Boring. I need something new.
  • We go on autopilot. We ‘think’ we are practicing.
  • We are practicing but our body and mind are in opposite directions.
  • Our ancestral habit energies of running and rushing all the time.
  • Tell your mind, its only 5 minutes in the day!

By giving our mind an option of adding a new element to our practice, we will be well equipped to train it and bring it in present moment. From my own practical experience, this little trick works very well to train our mind which is always busy and occupied.

Practice Preparation: Taking a moment, say this to yourself. “From today, I invite myself to drop in the present moment. I give myself permission to prioritize “ME” for 5 minutes each day. I allow my body and mind to be open and receptive.”

Practice Object: Our eyes, looking deeply, presenting yourself.

Practice Description: From tomorrow to next 7 days, we will be saying hello to anything we choose by looking at it deeply and say hello with our full, real presence.

Practice Method: From next morning, as you open two beautiful gifts, your lovely eyes, you can begin to notice anything that gets your attention and simply say hello.

Look deeply at the object of focus for a few seconds and present yourself and just say ‘hello…I am here’.

You can say hello to anything.. hello myself, hello my eyes, hello my beloved, hello my child, hello my pet, hello water, hello cloud, hello blue sky, hello rains, hello my bread, hello my fruit, hello my phone, hello my hands, hello my feet, hello my TV, hello trees, hello flower, hello ant, hello flies, hello sunset, hello night…the list goes on and on.

And that’s it! How simple and beautiful and grateful to notice and observe so many wonderful conditions of happiness around us! If you like you could repeat the practice for next 3 weeks, as it's an old belief that it takes 21 days to integrate a practice in your routine.

Practice Note: As per my count it takes 5 seconds to say a fully present hello to any object. Just stop and then look and say hello. Most importantly please enjoy the practice!

Practice Ways: You can practice it in anyway you like, as comfortable to you. If you are looking for some suggestions here are a few:

  • You can do it through the day. Don’t keep any count!
  • You can set aside 5 whole minutes anytime as per your schedule. Put a 5 minutes timer!
  • You can do it at meal times.
  • You can do it while travelling, talking on phone (also improves your communication!)
  • Add it to your existing religious or spiritual or ritual practices
  • Do it with you children! A mindful game to play! What a wonderful life skill. To observe, pay attention, notice and be present!
  • Do it while working! Gives you few seconds break to come back to yourself.

The ideas are endless. Share your own unique ideas, ways with your friends and family. A wonderful positive topic for a loving conversation. 

Practice Add on Elements: I absolutely love this technique to lovingly quiet your mind and make it your ally to be mindful.

Day 1: Preparation day. Read the practice slowly and mindfully. Let it sink in, follow preparation steps above.

Day 2: Go very gentle with yourself, very kind, patient, slow down. Please don’t make it as another project, another task, another item in your to do list, another way to prove something to ourselves or others. Just let the practice flow on its own.

Day 3: If you can anytime, notice your natural breath when you say hello. Don’t make it a goal to notice breath every time. Remember it’s a practice. No right or wrong here. When you can remember, touch your beautiful breath.

Day 4: If it feels right then add a gentle smile when you are looking deeply at the object of focus. Again, no pressure, no forcing anything.

Day 5: If it’s comfortable, try to practice it through the day. Again keep overall time to 5 minutes only. Trying to bring awareness through the day, rather than say just in the morning or travel time.

Day 6: Just observe your practice. See if any or all elements from previous days are flowing naturally in you. If nothing its OK. If you can include everything its also OK too.

Day 7: If you feel ready, practice the breathing mantra:

“Breathing in hello…

Breathing out I am here…

[Adopted from breathing mantras by Thich Nhat Hanh]

Even if you could breathe like this 1 time, 2 times, 3 times, its an insight already! If not, then also celebrate, you just gave a gift of 5 minutes to yourself each day! Hurray! 

Practice loving-kindness: Always keep a beginner’s mind. Whether it’s your first day of mindfulness or years of practice. Mindfulness is fresh each moment. It’s a practice, either the first time or the 1000th time. Our mind will rush, it will run, it will race. It’s been mind’s practice for a million years. It will take us a lot of time to reverse its direction. The more loving-kindness, the sooner mind begins to recognise new patterns.

Practice Source: All the mindful practices that we will be doing together are adopted from teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet, peace activist and founder of the Plum Village Tradition.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay gratitude for our collective practice over next 7 days. Thank you Mother Earth, Thank you Thay, Thank you to all of our spiritual, religious, mineral and blood ancestors for holding, supporting and practicing with us.

As always filling your way with these wonderful words:

Breathe –

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath’. - Amit Ray

I am so overjoyed with the beginning of our mindful living journey. Please remember to enjoy the practice. Let it come to you rather than you try to run behind it. I really hope you cultivate a few moments of bliss, peace, calmness, stillness and at the same time enjoy the fruit of your practice. I am always here to support you, rooting for you.

Let’s keep our collective energy positive. There is no objective, goal, aim or achievement here. It is a practice for us to show up for ourselves, to honour ourselves, to create peace, joy and happiness for ourselves.

Thank you so much for your time, attention and practice. Namaste. With all my love, light and compassion,

Yours sincere friend from this part of the world.

Sweta Agarwal

Spoonville

I had heard about people creating 'Spoonvilles' - clusters of smiling spoon families and this week I discovered one on my walk around Croydon. Well done to those who created this one!

Gum

Children's letters deliver happiness to older residents in Maroondah

Seven of our local primary schools have been sending hand written letters to older Maroondah community members as a way of staying connected and to let them know they are being thought of.

These heartfelt letters have helped bring joy to older residents, particularly at a time when strict stay at home orders have been put in place and regular social activities have been cancelled.

Thank you to these students for their kindness to others.

Denise

Being kind to others

Rang at least one friend a week, smiled at others when out walking, showed my appreciation to people going 'extra mile' for me - especially Kerrabee, my aged care, Caladenia (usually volunteer here), my daughter. Difficult to do much when in isolation.

Jean

Emergency Community Pantry

In April, Glen Park Community Centre held an emergency Community Pantry providing food and house hold items to members of its community to help them through what has been and continues to be one of the toughest times we've seen.

We rallied together with Eastland, Woolworths Eastland and Foodbank Victoria to provide these much needed items to our most vulnerable members of our community. The generosity of Eastland, Woolworths Eastland and Foodbank Victoria has been astounding, we can't thank them enough for their efforts and the additional staples were well and truly welcomed by the community.

Glen Park will continue to offer our fortnightly Community Pantry to assist those in need and remain connected with our community during these difficult times.

Kasie

A wave from the garbage truck

My 2 year old was experiencing lots of emotions this morning and was stressed about having to go to daycare. Just as we were getting ready to leave, the recycling truck entered our street. My son, who is obsessed with trucks, was so excited to stand in the driveway to watch the bins being collected. My son waved to the driver, who made the effort to stop his truck and use the claw to 'wave' back. This made my son's day and he was now more than happy to go to daycare so he could tell them all how the garbage truck had waved to him! Thank you to whomever it was driving the truck this morning, this small act of kindness completely changed how my son will experience his day.

Annette

Letters Share Love

It's amazing what a letter can do - brighten a day, provide an activity, keep people connected.

Ringwood Church of Christ have been using letters in a number of creative ways and perhaps it's something you can do too. There was the letter club at Easter where kids received a letter and activity sheet every couple of days for the two weeks leading up to Easter.

For Mothers Day there were the Mothers Day Card kits that were distributed to people who registered so that children could still have something home made for mum.

Kids Hope at Eastwood Primary converted from a face to face program to a program of emails and letters. Kids Hope is a program that connects trained mentors with primary school aged children. The usual format is one hour, one child, one church, one school.

This led to many grandparents sending letters and cards to their grandchildren as well. letters are another way we can stay connected and be kind to each other.

Andrea at Ringwood Church,

The Language of Acceptance

I am a language enthusiast for a hobby. This morning when I went for a walk I passed some Asian people and said, 'Nïhâo' to them - I figured if they were from another part of Asia or even a part of China where Mandarin isn't so prevalent they would correct me. However, they were surprised and ecstatic to hear a greeting in their language. Given the racism that has been shown toward people of South East Asian appearance/ heritage, this is a way of showing acceptance and inclusion.

Sa4mel

Asking if wanted a drink

During the breaks of my online school, a man came to fix a fence into our house and I kept asking him if he wanted a drink. When you have people over it is always kind of you ask them if they want a drink.

Tash

Supporting our community

I have been sending our Knox Bridge Club members an email every Wednesday morning. The subject for tomorrow’s email is Birthdays, Game, News, Funnies, Recipe and Virtual Holiday - Week 11.

I’ve also been sending ecards to all those having a birthday. I have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the weekly emails. Many members have been contributing by sending me amusing, interesting and topical video clips and their news.

Other news is from phoning members. I have nearly got through phoning all our nearly 60 members. Most of those that I haven’t phoned, I’ve had email exchanges. When I’ve identified a member who is struggling, I’ve asked another member to phone them and keep in touch. Other committee members are also phoning members. Our members are mostly in the older group, over 60,and mostly retired,.

My signature ending has changed from ‘Happy bridging’ to ‘Keep well and keep occupied’, keep occupied because I think that it’s important perhaps especially for retirees to have a range of hobbies and interests that they can pursue at home as well as do some regular daily exercise for those who are able! I’ve also included suggestions for activities in the weekly emails.

Stella

Winning the neighbour lotto

We moved to Maroondah 18 months ago, but when we purchased our home we did not realise we were also purchasing the winning ticket in the neighbour lotto. Over many, many weeks our gorgeous neighbours have been bundling up hand-me-down toys, clothes and activities and have placed a gift on our door step every morning. Their generosity and kindness has not only bought us the delight of surprises, it has kept us entertained for hours and most importantly has made us feel connected even when we are social distancing. Thank you Sophie, Rod, Daisy, Willow and Flynn - we think you are truly spectacular!

Rosy

Neighbourhood kindness

In our small neighbourhood we have seen quite a few examples of kindness.

At Easter we we treated to small bags of Easter eggs carefully delivered to our letter boxes; there has been sharing of plant cuttings and produce via boxes on the nature strip; a street dawn service for Anzac Day, where we all stood at the top of our driveways and listened to the Canberra service via a couple of car radios; phone calls and text messages to check how people are; shopping/cooking for people. Residents have also taken on board the call for people to put things of interest at the front of their homes to bring a smile and some joy to passers by.

Judith

Pooh Bear's House Early Learning Centre providing Care packages for Families/ Elderly

Pooh Bear's House Early Learning Centre has placed a "food relief" in their front gate for families to provide valuable items to local families in the community who are struggling or cannot go to the shops.

These care packages containing long life foods like cans, soups and pasta have been delivered to many families who are single parents, have children with medical conditions and other residents in the community who cannot go to the supermarket.

The Kinder children also sent a package to Park Lane Aged Care facility with photos for people in need. The children created rainbow drawings and the centre packaged them and sent them for the residents who may need a little colour in their rooms to brighten their day. The children spoke of how excited the residents would be when they saw those colourful pieces, and placed a lot of love into creating them.

Mental health awareness

As Mental health is something very close to us at Croydon Ranges FC we decided to all participate in an effort to raise awareness around depression, anxiety, PTSD all the drivers to committing suicide.

Once some one is nominated, they start with 25 days and 25 push ups a day. We as group have had over 50 members participating through “Facebook” and special “what’s app groups” set up by our club. They wear their club shirts with the “beyond blue” logo, proudly promoting the organization and awareness.

We thought if we could all encourage the concept of ‘it is okay not be to okay’ then collectively we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

Celebrating our Healthcare Heros

Melbourne Autism Lions Club made care hampers that we delivered to healthcare workers who are treating covid-19 patients at Knox Hospital

Helping those in need

I assisted my grandparents numerous times through this period. Mowing their lawns, doing their weekly grocery shop and each was incredibly rewarding.

It helped to know I was making their lives a little bit easier during this time while also keeping them safe.

Nick

Working on the Frontline

Starting my career as a nurse and midwife has been very rewarding by helping out our healthcare system during this global pandemic.

Alex

Whatsapp Family Catchups

During iso I created a family Whatsapp group with my parents, siblings, kids, nieces and nephews. We all enjoy sharing stories, recipes, gardening tips, puzzles and Netflix/Stan shows during the COVID-19 period.

Rosie D

Kind Toddlers

Over the last few months at The Learning Sanctuary - Park Orchards, the Junior Toddler room has been helping to spread cheer and positivity around the centre and in the community, by undertaking a #projectkindess.

Educators have been educating toddlers ways how we can be kind to others, through writing letters to loved one, the local aged care home and to other centres within Australia. As well as creating kindness rocks to place around the centre and a rainbow trail on the centres door to create positivity for families.

Lauren Ward 

Caring Children

How lovely to discover rocks painted by children on a recent walk! These rocks had ‘kindness messages’ written underneath. What a way to brighten your day!

Caring Children 

Family zoom catchups

Not long after social isolation came into place, I set up a regular weekend zoom catch up with my extended family. I missed our usual weekend brunches/lunches/shopping trips and this seemed the next best thing.

Be kind to yourself

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Through times of uncertainty like the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged our community to look after themselves.

Self care tips

  • stay active and eat well 
  • keep a regular routine 
  • practice mindfulness - check out Smiling Minds
  • keep up your social connections, such as chatting with family, friends, mates or work colleagues every day 
  • do something you enjoy such as cooking, reading, or listening to music 
  • take a break from the news
  • learn something new.

Staying connected

Connection with people is how we maintain good social health. It is important that we stay connected with our family and friends especially during challenging times. This could be with a phone call, text, online chat, talking to a neighbour or a social activity.  

There are many different ways we can stay connected. Check out some of these websites for inspiration. 

  • Life Line The importance of staying connected
  • Heads up Social relationships
  • Outer East phone chat - a free service to help people stay connected. Open to anyone and run by the Outer East Community Houses. Phone 1800 984 825,  Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm or Monday to Thursday, 5pm to 7.30pm 

Keeping fit and active

Doing some form of exercise is an easy and free way to boost both your mental and physical health. To keep things interesting try a new activity. Getting outdoors to be active will help keep your mental health on track and give your body its daily dose of Vitamin D (important for strong bones, muscles and overall health). 

It is also important to maintain regular healthy habits :

  • eat healthy foods
  • do some regular exercise 
  • drink plenty of water
  • get plenty of sleep
  • quit smoking/vaping.

Ideas for keeping fit and active 

  • attend a fitness class at your local gym with a friend or family member 
  • go for a daily walk or run.
  • clean up around your home eg. clean out your garage, do some gardening, try some spring cleaning.
  • VicHealth has many ideas on keeping a healthy lifestyle - Home | VicHealth
  • Better Health - important information on healthy eating - Healthy eating - Better Health Channel

Good nutrition

Eating well gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, improves your concentration and helps you keep a healthy headspace.

It's important in stressful times to keep your diet healthy and nutritious, as this allows you to cope with the changing environment of COVID-19. 

Mental health support

Challenging times can affect your mental health and wellbeing. Here are some useful ideas and resources to help with your mental wellbeing: 

  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals and use the internet to find new recipes.
  • Consider starting that project you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had time.
  • Stay in frequent touch with others. This could involve a phone call, text, online chat, talking to a neighbour, meeting up with a friend, joining a group activity.
  • Get some fresh air when possible - go for a walk, do some gardening, have morning tea or lunch outside.
  • Keep regular sleep routines .
  • Make sure you ask for help from family, relatives, friends if you need it. 
  • Choose where you focus your attention ie tune into what’s good in your world.
  • Seek out the people and things that make you happy, helps keep you in a more positive frame of mind.
  • Keep daily routines going or create new ones if needed ie regular bed times, meal times, exercise and keep an open mind to doing things in new and different ways.
  • Focus on what matters and what you can control ie try not to focus on things you have no control over or can’t change.
  • Review your ‘media watch’ - ask yourself “Is this helping or harming me”. If it’s making you feel overwhelmed then take control and switch it off.
  • Find the right people to talk to - people that make you feel good and help you cope with your day.
  • Help yourself by helping others - being able to give is hugely important for life satisfaction.
  • Give your brain a ‘holiday’ from life - cook, meditate, do a cross word, listen to music.
  • Take time to ‘wallow’ then move on - 1 minute wallow time is recommended then find something distracting to do.
  • Be kind to yourself and others - everyone is doing their best and a little kindness can go a long way.

From Real time Resilience Strategies for coping with Coronavirus 2020, New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience

Some useful resources

If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can seek support from: 

  • Beyond Blue, 1300 22 4636
  • 1800 Respect 24/7 national helpline, 1800 737 732
  • Lifeline 24/7 crisis line - 131 114
  • Mens Line Aust - 1300 78 99 78
  • Kids Helpline - How you can support your kids/teens
  • Head Space - 9801 6088 (Knox Centre) or eheadspace (9am to 1pm, 7 days)

LGBTIQ+

Additional counselling and support is available for our LGBTIQ+ community through"

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment. Practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits, everything from decreased stress and sadness to increased levels of focus and happiness. Beyond Blue provides more information on how mindfulness can help during the COVID 19 outbreak from recognising warning signs, creating healthy brain brakes and healthy habits. 

The following websites offer tools or suggestions that you can use to help navigate this new “normal” and help you on your journey to mindfulness: 

Disability

The current pandemic has been especially challenging for people with disabilities, their families and carers. Social isolation is particularly difficult with many people in our community needing the assistance of a support worker. 

Disability Support Guide 

The Disability Support Guide has a collection of resources that explores the impact of COVID-19 on disability support and NDIS in Australia. 

Disability Support Guide - Disability Support Guide

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)  - National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

National Disability Services - National Disability Services (nds.org.au)

Other useful resources

For carers 

With many offices physically closed and programs cancelled, there are still many supports available for carers:

  • Australian Carers 
  • Carers Victoria
  • Carer Gateway - a new Integrated Carer Support System that provides a range of services and supports delivered both in person and online. Any carer who is looking after someone with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or who is frail due to age can contact the Integrated Carer Support system on 1800 422 737 to access a wide range of help.

Family and domestic violence support

For some people, home is not the safest place to be. Home isolation, financial stress, insecure housing and unemployment can contribute to a rise in family violence. If you don’t feel safe, here is a list of important numbers. Please reach out for help.

Specialist family violence services are open and available to support you or anyone worried about a family member, friend or colleague. 

 For immediate assistance call 000 

Financial assistance and job support

Help is available to alleviate some of the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for those who have lost their jobs:

Jobs Hub

Jobs Hub is an Australian Government initiative that offers connections for employers with multiple job opportunities to Australians looking for work. Go to Jobs Hub

Advice about housing

  • Opening Doors: 1800 825 955 (24 hours)
  • St Kilda Crisis Centre: Ph: 9536 7777 (24 hours)

Working from home

It is important you look after your wellbeing when working from home. Here are some tips: 

  • Keep regular routines
  • Take regular breaks
  • Use your normal commute to work time as a chance to go for a walk. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you get up just before you need to start work.
  • Use your lunch break to step away from the computer and get active, such as going outside, playing with the kids.

Working from home resources

Kindness stories from the community

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged community members to send in their stories of kindness, whether it was about others, yourself or local business. The purpose of sharing these stories was to allow community members to share some of their positive pandemic experiences with fellow community members. These messages were extremely powerful and brought a smile to some people’s faces on some of the loneliest days.

Thank you everyone who sent in a story. 

Looking after myself

I established a routine - bend/stretch exercises after breakfast, computer - checked emails/facebook/a couple of games, kept up household tasks, watched diet, arranged for delivery of groceries & scripts. A short walk most days. Have classic FM on most of the day.

Jean

The Trip that Wasn't

When Covid-19 was declared a Pandemic and travel restrictions were imposed I was gutted. I had a trip to the US and Eastern Canada planned for May which I postponed. However, in the lead up to the trip I decided to recoup what I could from a different angle. I started by making foods, some of them the stereotypical US foods, but I also tapped into the foods of other cultures that can be found in North America and had a shot at making a Native American recipe. I also checked out a number of virtual tours of my destinations (and beyond) to connect me with those places. While it wasn't quite as exciting as the real thing, it was a positive way of handling something that had the potential to get me down big time.

Sa4mel

Life of a carer - Finally taking care of myself

As a carer, I have spent numerous years putting the person I care for, first. Frantically running them around to appointments, managing their daily activities, and all the little things in-between which build up and eventually lead to burning myself out.

Isolation has provided me with the time and the space to focus on myself. I have indulged in regular baths with my favourite candles burning, consuming myself in reading, and going on daily walks down to my local cafe - supporting them by buying my fave drink on their menu - a choc banana smoothie! I have put my mental health first and have given myself the time and space now to work with my psychologist on implementing strategies and supports I once deemed myself "too busy" and "not a priority" for.

Our family has commenced a Sunday ritual which is home made pizza and games. This provides routine, quality time and most importantly -FUN to our week.

My caring role can still be difficult, there are days that are still hard, but isolation has helped me bring calm to chaos.

Emily

Life under social isolation

Many positive things have come with changes to our normal busy lifestyle. We are in an older age bracket but have enjoyed staying active by exercising regularly at the Croydon Athletic track. We are keeping up with the family, friends and social groups via Zoom. Our family have been wonderful even though they have busy lives themselves with phone calls and dropping off shopping. We are avid readers so are enjoying time reading through the day. My husband loves cooking and has spent more time poring over cook books and experimenting with new recipes. Certainly a different lifestyle for us but quite relaxing.

Monica

Nothing gets in the way of book club!

It's nothing special, we are catching up by Zoom like everyone else in these weird COVID times, but our book club continues to meet and share stories - our own, our family's, our shared reading, our feelings about COVID life ... and much more. We have been meeting so long that none of us can really remember exactly when - but we think it is 12 years or so. Most of us live or work in Maroondah. We've seen babies and grandchildren born, watched our children grow up, go to uni and travel overseas, seen others find their life partners and we've all lost people very special to us in that time. But we love the 2nd Wednesday of each month when we can come together, have some bubbly, laugh, sometimes cry and just Be Kind to each other! We can't wait to give each other a very big hug when we get to meet in person again.

Robyn

Veggies galore!!

With social isolation I've had lots of time to give a little TLC to my veggie patch. As a reward I have an abundance of tomatoes, zucchinis, chilli's, lemons and herbs. For the first time, I'm now trying to grow potatoes and squash and have greens growing on my windowsill.

General wellbeing resources

Here are few agencies that are providing up-to-date information on supporting you and your family’s health and wellbeing. 

Be kind to business

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Many local businesses have been doing it tough in recent years. By shopping locally, you are not only supporting small businesses, you are also supporting local job growth and helping to build strong, vibrant communities.

Here are some ways you can continue to support local businesses:

  • shop locally at one of our community and local shopping centres
  • consider ordering online and having your order delivered
  • purchase locally made goods
  • interact with small businesses via social media to show your support ie comment on or like their posts
  • purchase gift cards and gift vouchers
  • order takeaway
  • explore what businesses are offering online.

Help for businesses

Maroondah City Council’s Bizhub is offering pathways to assistance resources, programs and tools for our business community. They are offering free one-on-one sessions with a business expert who can provide advice based on your unique situation.

If you know someone with a business that needs support, encourage them to contact Maroondah’s BizHub.  The Business Victoria hotline is also available for assistance on 13 22 15.

Kindness stories

Read below about how the community was kind to local business during the pandemic.  

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged community members to send in their stories of kindness, whether it was about others, yourself or local business. The purpose of sharing these stories was to allow community members to share some of their positive pandemic experiences with fellow community members. These messages were extremely powerful and brought a smile to some people’s faces on some of the loneliest days.

Thank you everyone who sent in a story. 

Being kind to business

I used the local pharmacist, in the last 2 weeks with easing of restrictions I have got take-away meals once a week, arranged for Coles online delivery service.

Jean

Thanks IGA

Shopping at IGA East Ringwood has been a pleasure during this trying period. A well stocked store, helpful staff and an efficient checkout mode made shopping easier and safer than at the larger supermarkets.

Monica

It's more than just "the job"

Eastwood Primary School has been a beacon of light during this wild time.

My little girl who has attended the school for a few years was broken hearted when she had to stay home. But the swift and decisive actions of the Principal and her wonderful staff meant that she didn't miss a beat in her learning. Every morning she met with her teacher and class mates on line. There was work set that was fun and engaging and balanced. The huge shift from classroom to digital content must have been a huge transition for the staff, but not once did we feel that they were struggling or unsupported.

We cannot thank the staff of the school enough. That local businesses have been donating sanitiser (Eastlands) and coffee and cake for the teachers (Milk & Wine Co) says that it isn't just parents who hold them in high regard.

Thank you, Rukshana and all of the wonderful staff.

Ms Jane

Deferred Free Coffee

One of the places I get coffee from has a loyalty card system (via a barcode so there's no cards changing hands). In the time of lockdown I have clocked up a couple of free coffees. However, I made the decision not to use them until it was possible to enjoy them with a cake/ dessert (my favourite food group) dining in. Today when I told them my reasoning the barista said, 'til we're recovered financially.' I confirmed that was what I was getting at since $5 now is a much higher percentage of their takings than $5 normally or in the anticipated new normal.

S4mel

Thanks to the friendly Milk & Wine Co team

The fabulous team at Milk & Wine Co in Heathmont have been supporting local frontline workers by facilitating pay-it-forward meals and providing free morning teas. This is a new business that opened just before the pandemic hit! They have been spreading kindness in the community & thinking of others from the day they started, well done.

Belinda

Thank you!!

I have tried to support local business who have worked hard to stay open during the pandemic but really they have been kind to me. Going for a walk each day to get that much needed coffee helped me cope with the more difficult things going on in my world. It's the little things that become important at times like this.

Leanne

Past activities

2020 to 2022

See how Be Kind Maroondah supported the community to be kind to ourselves, each other and to businesses during COVID-19. 

Be Kind Past Initiatives 2020 to 2022(PDF, 4MB)

Be Kind Past Initiatives 2020 to 2022(DOCX, 10MB)