East Creek Services

Hello Everyone,
October is senior’s month, the theme this year is Social Connections. It begins on the 1st of October which is International Day of Older Persons and ends on National Grandparents Day, Sunday the 31 October.
Seniors Month aims to: —
– Improve community attitudes towards older people and ageing.
– Facilitate community participation and activity by older people, including those from
Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
– Enhance community connections and inter-generational relationships.
We will be having a series of mini events to celebrate this at the centre in line with our usual activities. So come along and join in the fun.

As part of this year’s Carnival of Flowers, the council has brought back the Itty Bitty Floral Parade. The crochet group put their skills to the task and created this beautiful entry. (Pictured above
The float was made with a toy truck borrowed from the Child care toy box, a combination of crocheted and fresh cut flowers from the centre gardens and driven by a Duplo driver! You can see all of the Itty Bitty floats at Grand Central (Level 1 near Athlete’s Foot) from the 17th September until voting finishes on the 4th of October.
We are in the running for a grand prize of $500, which the centre would use to help fund the replacement of the signs on Kitchener Street. So please vote for our float if you get the chance and take the time to check out all the other creative entries.

Download the Latest Newsletter

Artability (Disability Art Group)

Learn and share your art expertise in our Artability Group. Some equipment supplied, but feel free to bring your own if you wish. 

Session Times: Wednesdays 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Cost: $3.00 (includes afternoon tea)

Stroke Support Group

The group supports both those who have had a stroke and their carers, all are welcome.

Session Times: Thursdays 9:30 am – 11:30 am

For further information call the centre on (07) 4639 2755

Eating with Friends Group (Non-OPAP Clients)

The group meets fortnightly for lunch on Wednesday’s at 12:00 noon (please note, if you are being picked up, you will need to be ready well beforehand, subject to availability)

Sessions for 2021 (Subject to Availability Closer to Date)

3rd February – Royal Hotel – 189 Ruthven Street, North Toowoomba, 4632 4665

17th February – Travellers Coffee House – 189 Hume Street, Toowoomba, 4659 9122

3rd March – Danish Flower Art Coffee Shop – 10347 New England Highway, Highfields, 4630 8211

17th March – Jamaica Blue – 455 Hume Street, Kearney’s Spring, 4687 6878

31st March – Emerge Cafe – 1 Station Street, CBD, 4632 8869

14th April – Gowrie Road Hotel – 208 Bridge Street, Newtown, 4632 5580

28th April – Rak Thai – 4/300 West Street, Westridge Shopping Centre, 4635 8894

12th May – Cafe 63 – East Ville / South Street, 1300 63 63 00

26th May – Newtown Pub – 64-72 Anzac Avenue, Newtown, 4632 3688

9th June – Fitzi’s on Church – 153 Margaret Street, CBD, 4631 3700

23rd June – Highfields Tavern – Crn O’Brian & Highfields Road, Highfields, 4699 6000

7th July – The Garden Restaurant Chinese Cuisine – 732 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, 4635 4555

21st July – Stock Hotel Toowoomba – 162 Anzac Avenue, Toowoomba, 4634 1422

4th August – Two Birds – 2 Duggan Street, CBD, 4638 0669

18th August – Downs Hotel – 23 Brisbane Street, Drayton, 4630 1238

1st September – The Federal Hotel – 111 James Street, Towoomba, 4632 3262

15th September – Thai Royal – 140 South St, Toowoomba, 4687 6808

20th September – Wilsonton Hotel – 40 Richmond Drive, Wilsonton, 4634 2033

13th October – Surprise

27th October – Blue Mountain Hotel – 264 Ruthven Street, Harlaxton, 4632 3258

10th November – Cafe Valetta – 96 Margaret Street, Toowoomba, 4632 0332

24th November – Meringandan Pub Christmas Lunch – 30 Main Street, Meringandan, 4696 7146

Come and enjoy an affordable meal and a few laughs! We would love your company.

Contact the centre for the latest update. All welcome!

For more details please call Bea on (07) 4639 2755

Computer Lessons (Formerly Broadband for Seniors)

East Creek’s Computer Lessons have been extremely popular lately. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome if they have any general computer, phone, tablet or other serviceable need. There are many benefits in running these classes, and they include:

  • Provide older Australians with access to computers and the Internet via Internet Kiosks
  • Support seniors to gain confidence and build skills in using new technologies (or have existing non-functioning technologies ‘fixed’) at low / no cost.
  • Address the issue of older Australians feeling isolated and ‘left behind’ in a technological age, and build community participation and social inclusion among older Australians

We can work on clients’ own devices, and are open to any and all requests within our capabilities to assist with. Below is a brief breakdown of how Computer Lessons are run at East Creek.

1. Sessions are by appointment only, please ring us on (07) 4639 2755. Emergency appointments can be held for people with issues that are likely to effect the health and wellbeing and or severely effect their livelihood (ie, not able to submit reports to Centrelink etc.) outside of aforementioned hours, but is at the discretion of the tutor.

2. Session costs are negotiable and assessed on a case-by-case basis, but the general rule of thumb is it costs $3.00 if you have low income, or $5.00 otherwise. Our tutors are very understanding, so please do not feel deterred from partaking in computer lessons if you do not have the funds available, or find the session too costly.

3. Sessions involve one-on-one, hour long sessions covering whatever issues you have in the realm of technology (so please come prepared with questions). If we cannot assist you, then we will endeavour to refer you onto an organisation or service that may be able to assist (as they are external to East Creek, those organisations may or may not charge a fee for their services). We can assist you in the following areas;

  • Windows 7/8/10 
  • Mac
  • Android Smartphones / Tablets
  • Iphones / Ipads
  • Antivirus / Internet Security / Avoiding Scams (incl. virus removal)
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Surfing the Web
  • Emails
  • Password Recovery
  • Online Shopping / Online Banking
  • MyGov and related Government Department Requests
  • Troubleshooting and Software Specific Requests (ie, Startup Repairs for when you can’t boot into Windows, specific software not working or giving errors etc.)
  • Hardware (minor only, usually limited to Desktop computers, East Creek is not an established repair organisation and is not an authorised repairer / reseller of major brands)
  • Social Media and Communication (Facebook, Skype etc.)
  • Printers / Scanners / Other Technology (ie, video cameras, photography)
  • Image Manipulation (Photo and Video editing, minor only)
  • Suggest / Provide alternatives or workarounds to solutions that cannot be solved.
  • Anything we missed? Give us a call to confirm to see if we can help…

4. Tutors have varying levels of digital literacy. When making your appointment, we would appreciate you let us know the content you wish for us to assist you with, so we can pair you up with the tutor(s) most suitable to assist you. Furthermore, we will endeavour to get you the most suitable time slot we can, but please understand that it is dependent on tutor availability.

5. While our tutors endeavour to do as much as possible, some tasks will be outside their scope, or may be outside the realms of repair with the amount of time / expertise / tools available to East Creek. In this instance, the tutors reserve a right to not take action on the issue if they feel that their involvement would likely cause additional harm. Furthermore, tutors reserve the right to not take action on an issue if they feel that assisting you would promote further harm to a client, would result in breaking the law, or have any other concerns. 

6. Tutors will proceed with their sessions at a pace dictated by the client. As such, clients are welcome to request repeats of similar content as many times as they feel necessary. Our tutors have excellent communication skills and patience, and operate in a completely non-judgmental and safe environment.

7. Computer lessons can only be provided during operating hours (9:00 am – 4:00 pm on weekdays) at the scheduled appointment time with the appropriate tutor. In some instances, lessons may go slightly overtime. We ask all clients to be patient, we will ensure everyone receives their appointed hour assistance unless external sources dictate otherwise. Some clients may request up to 2 hours in one session, but no more than one formal appointment time per week. If a client is unable to attend the appointment, it is expected that clients call us ahead of time (or get in touch via alternate means) so that the tutor is notified well in advance.

8. In some instances a tutor may be ‘in-training’ and act as an observer. In this instance, the client will be notified and has the right to refuse the ‘in-training’ tutor from observing should they not feel comfortable. 

9. Clients are welcome to bring their own devices for use. 

 

 

Community Literacy Program (English Lessons)

Individually tailored programs for Adults in:

  • Reading and Writing
  • Listening and Speaking English
  • Record Keeping

A brief rundown of the program is as follows;

1. One-on-one, hour long lesson permitted per week. You will be required to have an interview with the CLP Coordinator so they can assess your needs and be allocated a tutor to work with. Some paperwork may be involved in this step. You will also be allocated a suitable time to attend the sessions.

2. There is a cost of $3.00 per session.

3. The program is client-oriented, so services will be tailored to your specific needs. Homework may also be set. 

4. All sessions are to occur on Centre grounds. Tutors will not undertake sessions in public areas or client homes. Similarly, they will not occur outside of the Centre’s operating hours.

Please note, failure to call the Centre and notify us that you are unable to make it to the session prior to the session commencing within a reasonable timeframe is not acceptable. Failure to do this on two separate occasions will result in a re-negotiation of your terms of service or potential termination of sessions. Please make sure you let us know if there is some reason you cannot attend a session. 

Anyone wishing to become a volunteer tutor is welcome to contact the Centre on (07) 4639 2755 and ask for Andras. 

JP Service

East Creek has a Justice of the Peace available by appointment. If you would like to have documents witnessed or certified, please call the Centre to arrange a time. Ensure that you bring all necessary documentation with you (original documents, copies, the correct legal forms, valid forms of ID etc.), and that you do not sign any documentation that requires witnessing. If you intend to swear an oath, please ensure you bring the appropriate religious text to swear on as well, as the Centre does not have copies of appropriate text.

Please be advised that the JP can offer support on documents they are experienced or trained in, but that should not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice, please consult a solicitor, or contact TASC or Legal Aid as per the instructions on the ‘Community Services’ tab.  Furthermore, the JP reserves the right to not sign any documentation if you do not have enough supporting evidence, or there is some discernible reason as to why signing a given document could not be certified / witnessed in good faith (ie, if a person is under duress when signing by another party, they fail to understand what they are signing, they are not the appropriate person to do the signing, the document is not in a specified legal format, there is an underlying motive etc.)

In some instances where documents take a long time to certify (ie, certifying each page of the EPAs or other time consuming endeavour), the JP may request that you return at an arranged time for you to collect your documents.

Social Craft Group

East Creek operates a Social Craft group that takes place on Fridays from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Bring along any of your personal projects, whether it be scrapbooking, colouring in, diamond paintings or digital art, all are welcome. Work together with your fellow peers to surpass your creative limits, have a leisurely chat and a laugh, and finish the day with a light morning tea. Our participants and Volunteer Activity Coordinators are a lovely bunch and keen to have you. Carers are welcome to come along and participate as well 🙂

Session Times: Friday 10:00 am – 12:00 noon 

Cost: $3.00 per session

No need to RSVP, just come along on the day and enjoy.

Contact us on (07) 4639 2755 if you’d like to find out more.

Tax Help

For those of us who struggle to manage the intricate nature of their annual Tax Returns, East Creek’s long running Tax Help program is able to assist. With volunteers that have been specially trained by the Australian Tax Office, we can assist with explanations and submissions of basic individual tax affairs using the government’s MyGov and MyTax online systems. 

This program operates throughout the latter half of July until the end of October every year (unless otherwise stated), and is able to assist in the following tax matters.

–   Submission and Amendment of Individual Tax Returns (for years 2014 – 2021) 

This includes the process of submitting income and deductions, demonstrating how to navigate the MyTax system to find and submit the information requested of you, as well as any explanations of basic tax concepts (to the extent the volunteers have been trained to under the Tax Help Program).  

–   Non-Lodgement Advices

Including support to deduce if you are required to lodge in a given period.

–   Deductions and Calculations

–   Franking Credits

–   General Tax Information, advice and MyTax support

Our volunteers may be able to assist in other areas where requested, so if you are unsure if your request falls within the guildelines above, please let us know.

There are strict eligibility requirements for this program, so please ensure you’ve carefully read the information below to make sure you are eligible. There are also additional pre-requisites that need to be met to ensure that everything proceeds smoothly, so please make sure you have all of those pre-requisites sorted out as well. You will also need to bring all evidences related to your tax affairs to confirm any pre-fill information is true and correct, and for any deductions you intend to claim. 

If you require the support of multiple previous years’ worth of tax returns, or for multiple people (especially couples), please ensure you make multiple appointments. We will endeavour to help you where we can if something is missing or you are unsure, so please feel free to give us a call on (07) 4639 2755 and our friendly volunteer receptionists and staff will lend a hand.

To be eligible for Tax Help

You must not have earned more than $60,000 (or thereabouts) for the income year… 

AND

You must not have…

–   Worked as a contractor with an ABN (ie, a taxi / Uber driver, or a contract cleaner)
–   Run a business with an ABN, including as a sole trader
–   Had partnership or trust matters
–   Sold shares or an investment property
–   Owned a rental property
–   Capital Gains Tax (CGT), such as from the sale of a house
–   Received royalties
–   Received distributions from a trust, other than a managed fund
–   Received foreign income, other than a foreign pension or annuity

Remember to bring all of the following that apply to your appointments for each individual

–   Your MyGov Username / Email Address and Password
–   A mobile phone that has the same mobile phone number as the one recorded on your MyGov account 
–   Your bank account details (BSB and Account Number)
–   Superannuation information (Super Fund ABN and Membership Number)
–   Dividend Information
–   Proof of Identity Documentation (Driver License, 18+ Proof of Age Card, Medicare Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Australian Passport, Immi Card etc.)
–   Your Tax File Number
–   An original or ammended notice of assessment for the last five years
–   Income statements from all sources (some of which may be available on your MyTax account for employment as at or after 2019)
–   All receipts and evidences (including diary entries) for gifts, donations and work-related expenses
–   Details of any child support payments made
–   If you have a spouse (married or de-facto) at any time during the financial year, you also need to bring details of their taxable income or a reasonable estimate.

This is a free service.

 

Chat and Do

While we strive to be there for everyone whenever we are needed, our annual Christmas Break period does last for three weeks, and that can be a long time without support for those of us who are vulnerable or in need. To help mitigate that issue, we run what we call ‘Chat and Do’, a volunteer run activity that takes place over a 3-4 week period while activities are not running at the usual times. 

Much like our social groups, our volunteers operate a social group in the downstairs activity room so that people can be in a safe, welcoming environment to share their thoughts and interests while they partake in an activity of their choosing. Usually participants bring their own projects (cross-stitch, paint by numbers, puzzles, card games etc.) and engage with other participants for a fun-filled morning of activities. We encourage friendships to blossom that last, and welcome participants to continue to join in in our events once activities recommence, usually late January or early February of the following year.

Session Times are Mondays 9:00 am – 12:00 noon during the Christmas Break period (or thereabouts, please keep an eye on the Newsletters to see what this year’s start and end dates are)

Cost: $3.00 per session

Monthly Special Events

Every month, East Creek hosts a special event (usually one that happens only once a year) that has increased emphasis on a social issue or a circumstance of great value to the community. This can be smaller Centre directed events (such as ‘Feel Good February’) to larger collaborative approaches and partnerships with other organisations (like ‘Harmony Day in the City’ and the ‘Homelessness Week Expo’). 

These events usually have exclusive opportunities available and are not to be missed, so make sure you keep your eyes on the newsletter to see what special activity, event or celebration is held for that particular month. 

Additional joint projects with other organisations, or instances where organisations may act as guest speakers at our regular events. may also come under this heading and are usually advertised in the Newsletter or Facebook. 

Times and dates do vary, and there usually is no cost to these events either unless otherwise stipulated. 

Weekend Activities

While East Creek is not formally open on weekends, there are social groups that are officially endorsed by East Creek Community Centre that do take place on these days on Centre grounds. These activities are usually those where East Creek has a strong working partnership with them to reach our mutual goals, but does not have East Creek staff supervising the activity. The list below details which Weekend Activities are currently partnered with East Creek.

Toowoomba Home Produce Swap Group

(Disclaimer: Description taken from the group’s official Facebook Page)

This group is for those folk in the Toowoomba area who have excess home produce / plants (both edible and ornamental) / seeds and seedlings / mulch / manure / compost worms / honey / home made preserves and the like they would like to swap. The extent of items for swapping / gifting is only limited by the members’ imaginations. The gifting of items which would otherwise be disposed of (such as glass jars, plastic bottles, pots etc.) is just one example of what we can share / gift.

It is also a place to share knowledge, photos of home produce related activities, stories and questions. The sharing of knowledge is integral to developing a sense of community in our group.

Contact: Mary Nielsen – Please contact her on the Toowoomba Home Produce Swap Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/toowoombahomegrowersswapgroup/

Session Times: 1st Saturday of the Month, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Miscellaneous Services

Please Note: All of the services below are more ‘informal’ services provided on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Therefore, there may be additional stipulations that would not apply to our normal services. These include, but are not limited to;

– Being subject to availability of resources, time and qualified and willing staff / volunteers.
– May be restricted to specific eligibility criteria.
– May require authorisation by the Centre Coordinator or the Management Committee prior to service provision
– We may also request a small fee or donation (no more than $3.00 usually) depending on the extent of the service.

There is no universal rule on these situations, and we do attempt to have the least barriers of entry possible, so please feel free to ask and we will do our best to assist.

Form Filling – Certain volunteers and staff members who have experience or skills with particular forms may be able to offer support to others who may find filling in forms challenging, or if there are digital barriers to filling in forms, that too can be alleviated.

Support with Resumes and Cover Letters – If someone has been out of the workforce for a while, or just needs to brush up on how to do a Resume / Cover Letter / Response to Selection Criteria, that may be something we can support you with. 

Printing and Photocopying Facilities – Should you require any printing, photocopying, scanning or emailing services, East Creek should be able to provide those. For any printing services requested on its own (ie, not attending another existing activity like Computer Lessons), there may be a small fee here.

‘Free-To-Good-Home’ – Occasionally, members of the community who no longer require certain household items (clothing, books, stationery etc.) may donate some materials to the Centre to pass onto a good home. While we do not tend to have a large amount available, any material that we do have is available for anyone in need to take.   

Just want to chat? – When times get tough, sometimes people find it helpful to discuss their troubles in a safe, judgment-free environment. Where reasonable, the Centre is happy to accommodate anyone would just like a chat, to vent their frustrations or just need a sounding-board to get their thoughts in order. 

Free Wifi and Use of Technical Resources – The Centre has free Wifi for use by its service users. Additionally, if you require a specific technical resource you don’t have access to, to achieve your objectives (ie, computer, tablet, projector, TV / DVD players etc.), then we may be able to assist depending on your needs. (For example, we have assisted with people who required a computer and space for video conferencing allied health professionals, or demonstrating our technical systems to help others decide to if they wish to invest in a similar setup etc.)

Have your Say – We are committed to ensuring that your voice and needs are heard, and that we have a chance to improve our services for your betterment. To this effect, we are transparent about our Committee Meetings occurring on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at ~ 2:30 pm, and encourage all members of the community to attend and let their voice be known. 

Other Services – The Centre is open to take any additional requests not listed on the website should the need arise, and would decide on a case-by-case basis if support can be provided (depending on complexity of the request, available personnel and their existing expertise). Please do not hesitate to ask, so long as it is within our capacity, we are generally able to assist.