Help surviving Christmas

Heather Bunting. (Damjan Janevski) 222762_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

A virtual counselling group workshop on ‘Surviving Christmas 2020’ will be hosted by Joseph’s Corner next week.

The free workshop, funded by Hobsons Bay council, is among several local events this month to support those who may have difficulty during the “festive” season.

Joseph’s Corner senior counsellor Heather Bunting said the Zoom workshop would allow people to express their concerns, such as having mixed feelings about socialising again, worries about addressing potential conflicts, or experiencing feelings of exclusion and loneliness.

“A lot of people experience family issues at this time of the year,” she said.

“In families where there’s been a bit of a break in communication or relationship, it can mean that people can’t do their previous family thing.

“[Then] you’ve got people who don’t have family – that’s really hard.

“A lot of loneliness: people who are old and maybe have children who have abandoned them or … they didn’t have children.

“It’s a time of the year where the whole world’s kind of going, woohoo, happy times, and then you’re at home going, ‘No, this is not a happy time for me’.”

The Zoom session is on Wednesday, December 16, from 10am-3pm, including a one-hour lunch break and two tea breaks.

RSVP to, 9315 2680 or 0411 475 358.

Hobsons Bay mayor Jonathon Marsden said Christmas festivities were going to look a little different this year.

“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’re unable to hold council’s annual older residents client Christmas party,” he said.

“Instead, we delivered over 100 hot Christmas lunches.

“Meals on Wheels and Planned Activity Group participants will also receive a Christmas hamper to celebrate the festivities.

“Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people. I urge everyone to continue the community spirit we embraced during lockdown and connect with your neighbours.

“If you feel like a chat or want to reach out, get in touch with Hobsons Bay Community has Heart’s Community Connector program. We would love to hear from you.”

Local events:

-The Salvation Army in Altona is hosting its annual Christmas lunch on Saturday, December 19. Spaces are limited and filling quickly. Bookings: 0439 725 013

– Donate to the Hobsons Bay Libraries and Hobsons Bay Inter-Agency Network festive food and toy drive until Friday, December 11.

– Hobsons Bay Community has Heart Community Connector program: or 1300 179 944

– Large gatherings for carols aren’t taking place in Hobsons Bay this year but some local organisers plan to host online get-togethers and smaller church-based events, with details to be confirmed.