24 September, 2021

On 23 September 2021, the Victor Harbor ADRA Op-Shop held a high tea in honour of International Friendship Day.

“The event was designed to facilitate the meeting together of single people to provide a space where friendships could be initiated or nurtured at no cost to them,” says Dawn Peterson, the Op Shop Manager.

The high tea was originally planned for 1 August, but had to be postponed until late September due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“There are many older citizens on the South Coast who have lost their life partner or are on their own for other reasons,” says Dawn. “As a means of supporting our community we planned this event and put out invitations.”

In the end, 34 participants came together at the Boulevard Café to enjoy a time of friendship and food.

“Judging by the level of conversation in the room there is no doubt that everyone had a great time,” Dawn says. “The food provided by the Boulevard was exemplary and the atmosphere of the event was exactly as we had hoped.”

Participants enjoying the complimentary High Tea in honour of International Friendship Day

Although the management team had not arranged a keynote speaker as the event concept was designed for people to enjoy good food and conversation, they invited Valerie Lillington to provide a short presentation on her “Victor Challenge” concepts to the group.

“We were delighted by the number of folks who attended on the day,” says Dawn. “It is such an honour to be able to provide support to our community and we see these types of events as amplification of the current levels of support we are providing throughout the Fleurieu.”

In surveys undertaken since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, just over half (54%) of respondents reported that they felt more lonely since the start of the pandemic (Lim et al. 2020). Initiatives like the high tea at Victor Harbor is working to prevent loneliness by bringing people together to create a sense of community.

The ADRA Appeal is the main source of funding for ADRA community projects in Australia. Let Love Shine this ADRA Appeal and help give someone the support they need to heal, rebuild their lives and connect with their community. Please donate at adra.org.au/shine