Vote for Us: Upgrade for GCAIS Facilities

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We recently applied to the Community Building Program to upgrade our facilities. With the vulnerability around COVID 19 and keeping both our Clients and Workers as safe as possible, we have asked for financial support to upgrade the kitchen facilities and front desk reception area. This will allow us to create additional  space and produce a more hygienic area where food etc is being handled.

We ask you support us by accessing the survey link below. Your vote must be processed by 5pm, 21st August 2020. The survey is less than 5 minutes to complete.

Thanks in advance for your support.


Restricted Centre Opening Hours from 10th August 2020

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Be advised that our Centre will be operating under restricted opening hours due to the latest COVID 19 update.

From 10th August 2020, the Centre will be opened from 9:30am to 2:00pm. Our business will continue to operate between 9:00am to 5:00pm with workers being available by phone. The new hours will be in place indefinitely.

Existing appointments outside of these hours will still be accepted.

Contact us at or 02 9524 9559 if you require additional information.

We are Walking: 2020 Virtual Sutherland to Surf

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Are you missing Sydney’s iconic walks? City to Surf? Sutherland To Surf? If so, come and join us on 9th August for the virtual version of the Sutherland to Surf.

Starting point:
Outside unit 72, Sales Office Woolooware Shores Retirement Living Village, Alexander Ave Taren Point.
The groups will walk towards Shark Park i.e. the 2km group will walk 1 km and turn around, 5km group will walk 2.5km and turn around, 11km group will walk towards Cronulla Beach for 5.5kms and turnaround.
This route is very flat and suitable to  all levels
Coffee and/or Lunch will be available at the Taren Point Bowling Club where tables will be booked to ensure social distancing. This will be at the walker’s cost
11kms group will commence at 9:30am
5kms group will commence at 10:30am
2km  group will commence at 10:45am
$20 to register on the formal site (link below). Click “Join A Team” and enter ‘GCAIS Walkers’. Those experiencing financial hardship should email and discuss registration possibilities.

  • Each group will be led by an organiser
  • All participants will be asked to join Heart Foundation Walking if they are not a current participant
  • Social distancing will be practiced
  • All participants should bring water, towel, sunscreen and hand sanitiser

    Registration Choose “Join A Team” and enter “GCAIS Walkers” in the team name.

Once registered, email Joanne, and advise you will be joining us.

For more information contact us on 02 95249559 or email

GCAIS Unlocked

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We are pleased to announce we will be re-opening the Centre from 22nd June 2020. It has been a long time since we’ve seen our clients and visitors and whilst our service offering will be minimal due to restrictions being in place, we look forward to welcoming you back. What this means to you:
– We are still working through what groups can be delivered face to face so are taking some time to finalise the plan
– There will be a maximum number of people permitted to be in the building at any one time including workers
– Hand sanitisers, soaps, regularly cleaned surfaces will be our practise
– Our premises including toilets are professionally cleaned 3 times per week
– We can no longer provide shared refreshments nor do we allow workers or clients to share food
– There will be a protective screen at Reception
– There will be floor markers to remind everyone to keep the required 1.5m distance.

We do need to ask you to do a few things:
– Leave your name, address and contact phone number when you sign in in case we need to make contact with you. We suggest you also download the COVID APP
– When the maximum number of people allowed in the Centre has been reached, we will be asking you to wait outside until there is room
– Please remain at home if you are feeling unwell
– Use the provided hand sanitiser and keep good hygiene in mind
– Where possible, call us and make an appointment so we can be sure to be available to you
– Respect instructions provided by our workers especially if social distancing has been compromised.

We will keep you up to date as our activities come back. Where activities have moved to online, we will maintain these until we confirm the safety of everyone involved to go back to face to face, We continue to be guided by the department and align to their recommendations.
Needless to say, we are all looking forward to welcoming you back!

To view the COVID Safety Plan, DOWNLOAD here.

Domestic Assistance now available

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Domestic Assistance Service

As we get older things like health or physical challenges can make everyday tasks difficult. When you’re looking to stay in your own home, asking for help does not mean that you need to move or lose your independence.

At Gymea Community Aid and Information Service (GCAIS), we are funded to facilitate services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). What this means to you if you’re over 65 is we can support you with basic domestic services around the house such as:

  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • dusting
  • cleaning the bathroom
  • washing the dishes
  • general tidying up
  • doing the laundry
  • making the bed
  • unaccompanied food shopping

Do You Qualify?
Eligibility for this program is based on your support needs and age.
To be eligible for this program, you must be aged:

  • 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people), or
  • 50 years or older (45 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) and on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless.

A face-to-face assessment will determine eligibility and ensure that the right services are made available to those that need them

The Costs
Once eligible, as you receive the services you are asked for a small contribution.

How Does It Work
GCAIS have a caring and enthusiastic team of Program Coordinators and Support Workers ready to deliver these services to you. Once you register with My Aged Care, you will receive an assessment by the RAS team (Regional Assessment Service). Once approved, you then choose your provider.
GCAIS also have workers to help with Chinese, Greek, Italian and Arabic speaking clients

Getting Started
Contact us on 9524 9559 or for support throughout the process of registering with My Aged Care or for any support you need to acquire these services.

National Volunteer Week 2020

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Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time. Through volunteerism, communities around the world often experience strengthened solidarity and inclusion. Here at GCAIS we couldn’t do any of our great work without our 100 plus volunteers. This week we salute you!

Help Guard Against Older Person Abuse

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A group of community and in-home aged care providers in the Shire are encouraging older people to be careful with their personal information during the COVID-19 lockdown and seek help if they are being harmed in their own homes.

The Collaborative Against the Abuse of Older People in Sutherland Shire has produced a flyer [attached], which is being distributed through GPs and chemists, as well as community services that provide services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages.  The information campaign is the latest in an ongoing series of projects since the Collaborative formed in 2016 to support aged care in the community.

“Our staff and volunteers in the field work very hard to identify and respond to signs of abuse and neglect in our clients, but we’re not seeing many of them at the moment because our social activities are closed, and frankly we are concerned”, according to Collaborative Chair, Melinda Paterson, who is also the Manager of Engadine Community Services.

“All the risk factors that make older people vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse and neglect have been present and growing for the past six weeks.  Older people are isolated, families are stressed and many younger people are financially stretched, so we’re worried that trusting relationships could break down or advantages be taken.”

“It’s important for older people to be vigilant about their personal safety and call on formal Community Services to get the right support during the pandemic.  We’re all here to help.”

The Collaborative is part of a network of similar groups assisted by the NSW Ageing and Disability Commission, which also has an abuse helpline 1800 628 221.


Looking for Visa and Immigration Advice?

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Our weekly service for providing Visa and Immigration Advice is still operating throughout the COVID 19 restrictions. Our agent will connect with clients utilising either ZOOM or SKYPE technology. Meetings are conducted on Wednesday mornings.

To find out more and to make an appointment, contact us at or, leave a message on 02 9524 9559 and we’ll respond within 2 hours.


GCAIS Office Closure

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Our office and Centre have been closed from 25th March 2020 due to the COVID 19 crisis. This does not mean our business is closed and we continue to offer our advertised services  to over 65s for:
– Individual Social Support
– Assisted Shopping
– Pet Owner’s Network

Leave us a voicemail on 02 95249559 or send an email to and we’ll respond to you during normal working hours of Mon-Fri 9:30am to 4:00pm

Hear from our General Manager, Joanne Cracknell



What We’re Doing to Stop The Spread

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Well, things are moving very fast in regards to the COVID – 19 situation. It is fair to say, we are all learning as we go and are staying close to information and instructions as shared by the Department of Health and other trusted resources. The care of our workers, clients and community members are top of mind and I wanted to share with you what we are doing here at GCAIS to help stop the spread:

  • We have suspended all groups and activities until 17th April with the exception of Shopping Assistance and existing clients included in the Pet Owner’s Network. We have removed the shopping fee ($20) to 17th April 2020 for those utilising the service.
  • We have reduced the number of workers present in our Centre whilst still keeping the doors open for our normal business hours being 9:30am to 4:00pm.
  • We are well prepared with our systems for workers to work offsite or from home so staff can work on their projects and tasks and continue to be paid
  • Our workers are all briefed on increased hygiene standards being hand sanitiser and soaps throughout the centre including toilets and offices; each office has anti bacterial surface spray which is used at regular intervals throughout the day and numbers in the centre at any one time are monitored
  • Policies have been created to list expectations of those in the workplace including the need to attend a testing unit if symptoms appear

We understand this situation will impact on those feeling isolated and lonely. If you would like to receive our updates, please subscribe to our newsletter by sending an email to and/or liking us on Facebook

Resources to understand COVID 19
Sutherland Shire Support Services


We are Open!!!

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We would like to confirm that whilst the COVID – 19 virus situation is evolving by the minute, our Centre remains open until further notice. The following precautions are in practice:

  • Hand sanitisers, soap and paper towels are available throughout the Centre. Gloves are also available at our front desk
  • Social distancing is practiced
  • Groups and activities have been suspended from 18th March – 1st April due to low participation numbers and minimal available volunteers and workers
  • Clients and workers displaying any symptoms as related to the virus are asked not to enter the premises and to seek medical advise

We are currently following the advice of Department of Health and governing bodies and will keep our clients and community updated if and as the situation changes. We understand this situation is challenging and impacts those feeling socially isolated and lonely. We ask that individuals take responsibility for their own health and well being and stay isolated if displaying any signs of the virus.

Alternatively, those clear of infection are welcome to come and visit us, grab a book from the Street Library and join us for a cuppa!

For more information, contact us on 02 95249559 or email

Shopping Assistance Available to Over 65’s

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GCAIS are pleased to advise we are able to extend our shopping assistance. Here’s how it works:

  • The service is available to clients registered with MyAgedCare or who are 65 years and over
  • Given the COVID 19 virus and the need for social distancing, your shopping list will be taken by the support worker to complete the order and drop it back you.
  • 2 hours is allocated per client per fortnight
  • Costs and fees related to this service are suspended indefinitely
  • All workers and volunteers have completed a police check

We ask that Clients take responsibility for their health and avoid contact with our workers if feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms related to the virus. In this situation, we will work with you to keep personal contact minimal.

For more information and to reserve a date and time, contact Rita or Rowena on 95249559 or email