‘We’re family’: Social hub a lifeline for lonely seniors
KELLIE Robinson's heart goes out to seniors who were stuck at home throughout the coronavirus shutdown.
The Hervey Bay RSL marketing manager knows how valuable a weekly trip to bingo or a roast lunch with friends can be.
For socially isolated, elderly residents, the RSL is more than a club - it's a second home.
"A lot of people who are living on their own, they come out and this is where they meet their friends," Ms Robinson said.
"For those people that don't have a lot of family in the Bay, we really are their family."
The club reopened on July 3 as coronavirus restrictions on large venues eased.
Ms Robinson said it came as welcome news to members who had been regularly calling throughout the shutdown to find out when the club would be running again.
"A lot of people rely on it as their social outing and when it was all shut down, they were really just at home alone," she said.
The club's size has been to its benefit as it steadily gets back to normal, with its multiple bar, cafe and event space making social distancing easier.
Ms Robinson said apart from an affordable feed and friendly atmosphere, the RSL provided valuable social groups like bingo, cards and snooker.
The kids' club and courtesy bus have also started again, with limited numbers.
"It has been quieter, I think a lot of people are not yet ready to get out again," Ms Robinson said.