Welcome to our Community Spotlight series where we are shining a ‘local light’ on the many incredible organisations and projects across Greater Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula & the Surf Coast that contribute in a meaningful way to our beloved communities.
The Bellarine Community Support Register was established in 2006. It is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation managed and run by approximately 30 volunteers, is based at the Bellarine police station, and supports over 1400 residents. Its purpose is to help bring an added sense of security and comfort to residents through their registry which allows emergency services to react very quickly to an individual’s needs. Care calls are also available, allowing registrants to select a frequency that suits them to receive a call from the volunteer group; an element of their service that came to the fore during COVID-19 where some residents felt more isolated from family and friends. Ultimately the Bellarine Community Support Register benefits locals, carers, family & friends, neighbours, emergency services, medical practitioners, and the local community in creating a safer, supported & connected place to live.
Kings met with their wonderful Chairperson, Gail Rodgers, to discuss this important and unique community work on the beautiful Bellarine.
Call on 0480 228 674, Monday to Friday between 9:30 am – 12 noon, excluding public holidays.
‘Like’ the BCSR on Facebook to keep up to date and engage with local community announcements, security information.
The Bellarine Community Support Register is proudly sponsored by Kings Funerals. Learn more about our community commitments.
“Hi, my name is Gail Rodgers. I live on the Bellarine Peninsula and I’m very proud to be the Chairperson of the Bellarine Community Support Register.”
WHAT IS THE BELLARINE COMMUNITY SUPPORT REGISTER?
“Fundamentally the component of the Bellarine Community Support Register is our database. It is a database of confidential information shared by our clients, our registrants, that is predominantly about people’s personal information and, medical information, but it is just accessible by Victoria Police in the event of an emergency.”
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
“In the event of an accident or an emergency, the database can be critical in terms of being able to respond to someone’s needs.
When you register your information with the Bellarine Community Support Register we will provide you with a welcome pack. And, that includes an ID card, just like this which we recommend that you slip in your wallet or in your pocket when you’re out and about.
You will also receive a window sticker, like this, that indicates to anyone coming to your home that you are on the register. And you will also receive a fridge magnet that has the phone contact details of the Register office
The Bellarine Community Support Register is actually located at the Bellarine Police Station in Ocean Grove so our Register information is only accessible by the Police. So if you are out and about and, should something occur, should an accident occur, should you have a turn or some form of illness, and emergency services are called, the first thing that they will do, the first thing the police will do, is look for contact information. And, if you’re carrying your card and you are registered with the database, the police can immediately access your next of kin information, any medical information, where you live, any information about you that you register on our database.
And that allows emergency services to react very quickly to your needs.”
WHO DO YOU HELP?
“The Bellarine Community Support Register is predominantly a register of mature people on the Bellarine Peninsula. But, it is accessible to anybody, anybody with a disability, even a bike rider! Anybody that finds themselves out and about and perhaps vulnerable in some way, they can register with our organisation. So, the database is accessible to anybody on the Bellarine Peninsula.”
HOW HAS THE SERVICE ASSISTED DURING COVID-19?
“During COVID, I think the register came to the fore.
We had clients who were registered with us, whose family lived outside of our area; in Melbourne, in other parts of Victoria. One of the elements of our service is care calls. And if you register with our organisation you can opt to receive a call from one of our volunteers on a regular basis. It might be once a week, it might be twice a week. It might be once a fortnight. But it is just a contact that you can be assured that you will receive a phone call from one of our volunteers.
And, during COVID that service absolutely shone. And our volunteers are absolute stars. And, they were making those calls from their homes during COVID lockdown to make sure that connection with our vulnerable and perhaps isolated clients was maintained and for those members, registrants, that were isolated during COVID, it was such a valuable service for them to connect with someone when their family couldn’t visit.
So, I think that’s one of the values of the service that we provide, it’s peace of mind, for family, knowing that perhaps their loved one is registered and receiving a call and I guess just that sense of safety and security for family members I think is really important. And, neighbours also.”
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE ORGANISATION?
“Our organisation is run by volunteers. Our committee of management, our volunteer care callers, the database entry volunteers, our office coordinator…we are all volunteers and we are so grateful for the office space that is provided to us by Victoria Police. And, the connection of course that we have with the members of the police to support our clients, our registrants.
I think it’s such a great place to live, the Bellarine Peninsula, and we feel that we add a valued service.
It’s our volunteers that do such a fabulous job to keep our service happening. The connections that they have over the phone with our registrants is just so lovely to see and to read and hear about.
In addition to obviously the support we receive from Victoria Police and the relationship that we have with them, we’re extremely grateful for the support we receive from Kings Funerals.”
HOW DO I REGISTER?
To register, it’s simple; you can access our registration form online, from the Police station in Ocean Grove or Port Arlington, from chemists, from GPS, the form is available. Or you can just make a call to our organisation and we’ll get a registration form to you (on 0480 228 674).
It’s a simple form to complete. Get that back to us, we’ll get you registered on our database, registered for a care call if that’s what you would like.
We’ll get a welcome pack out to you and then there’s just that feeling of safety and security and protection that you’re receiving from just another layer of support here on the fabulous Bellarine.”