Community and peer groups

Did you know that most Australians will experience loneliness at some point in their lives?

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While not as obvious as a cut or bruise, social isolation and loneliness can affect both your mental and physical health. They are considered significant health and wellbeing issues because of the impact they have on peoples’ lives.

While there a range of complex factors that lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness, research has suggested that living alone is a key factor – while other studies have found that older people are more likely to feel alone. Does that sound like anyone you know?

This is why it is so important to make sure people are connected through community and peer groups, which can provide a network of support. Being part of a community provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness – and they can be created through just about anything, whether that is a shared location, hobbies, lived experiences and backgrounds, or a common cause. This is vital, especially when 20% of older Australians rate their sense of connection to the local community as poor.

For many people, communicating with others can help them to have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life, which is even more important as we age. Around one-third of Australian adults are not involved in any social or community groups – and there are so many out there. So, do you know if the older person in your life is socially isolated? If they are, then there is help available.

COTA WISE helpline 

Our free telephone information services aim to make older people feel WISE – Welcome, Included, Supported and Empowered.

Older Men: New Ideas

Find an Older Men: New Ideas men’s discussion group near you!


Connect with other retirees with Probus.


Have an anonymous chat with a friendly volunteer with FriendLine.


PRONIA has been providing support and advocacy for over 50 years to Victoria’s Greek and wider community. Services provided include an early learning centre, case work services, community capacity building, aged care services, and other specialist services.

Ending Loneliness Together

To find groups, organisations and services that will help you, or someone you know, connect with others and build meaningful relationships, use the Ending Loneliness Directory.

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria

There are over 400 Neighbourhood Houses across Victoria.

Use the Neighbour Houses Victoria website to find a house closest to you.

The Chatty Café

Chatty Café tables are for customers who are happy to sit and chat with other customers. Each Chatty Café venue nominates a day and time for their Chatty Table.

Use The Chatty Café website to find a table nearest you.


LiveUp is a free national healthy ageing platform that features tailored activities, assistive products, social connections and more, all in your local area or online.

Elder Rights Advocacy

ERA connects older people with caring volunteers for friendship and companionship.

Seniors Online Victoria 

For further assistance, visit the Seniors Online Victoria website.

Your local council and local supports

Find support, engagement, and fun in your local area. Local councils across Victoria are leading the way with opportunities for connecting locally for all generations.

Whether you’re looking to get social, get active or get inspired this winter, check out what your local council and their partner organisations have on. Learn more on this page.