Seeing the gradual return of community-based groups is a sign that hopefully we are past the worst of the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Ulladulla district is lucky to have many vibrant community-based groups but their efforts have been marred because of the pandemic.
However, many groups are starting to stir and get back to what they do the best which is giving people the chance to take part in stimulating activities and enjoy some important social interaction.
Two groups the Probus Club of Ulladulla and Districts and the Milton Ulladulla VIEW Club recently took steps towards normality.
Milton Ulladulla VIEW Club members, after a six-month absence, were ecstatic to get back together again, while the Probus Club of Ulladulla and Districts was also able to resume some form of activities for its members recently.
Secretary of the Probus Club of Ulladulla and Districts, John Collins, local clubs do play an important role in the community.
"I think that being a member of such groups does help with our mental health. Our welfare officer keeps in contact with people who are ill and all seem well," Mr Collins said.
"We are very hopeful that more community members will join our group.
"Currently the ages of our members range from 60 to 95 and we would certainly like to encourage the younger group to join our ranks.
"Clubs such as ours do need to be invigorated by the younger group who are often too busy to join our ranks."
Milton Ulladulla VIEW Club's Publicity Officer, Sonia Workman, agrees that the region's community groups serve and important role in the district.
"Community groups such as VIEW allow people to meet up, enjoy each other's company, and swap ideas, while being part of a larger social network," she said.
"When these types of liberties are suddenly taken away, people feel lonely and vulnerable, and not quite sure of what can and cannot be done.
"Being a member of VIEW and other groups and organisations within the community most definitely gives the feeling of well being and belonging.
"Especially to those of us who are retired; it gives you a reason to get up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead."
Mrs Workman said it was great to be with people she and others had not seen for six months,
The VIEW Club members kept in contact by email or by phone.
Mr Collins said the Probus Club members had to find other ways to gather when the restrictions were tightened.
"The months of April and May were a bit lean and during these months we only met via "Zoom" both for committee meetings and to give the wider membership a chance to meet up," he said.
"We also printed a newsletter that was distributed via email and via telephone contact with those members without email.
"Funny stories and jokes were also distributed by our activities officer to members with an email. Currently, 90 percent of our membership can be contacted via email."
The Probus club, beginning in June, conducted group gatherings at various local outdoor venues for members with the number allowed depending on the restrictions at the time.
"One day in June there four of these operating simultaneously from Mollymook to Burrill Lake," Mr Collins said.
"These activities were also conducted in July, August and September."
The Probus club committee has conducted face to face meetings at a local venue since June, which helped maintain contact within the group.
"The club has also conducted its monthly barbecues since July with the numbers being governed by the restrictions at the time. Last week's function [a general meeting] was the first time that we have invited all members to the same event for six months," Mr Collins said.
"This was greatly appreciated by all present and we plan to repeat this in November unless stricter restrictions forbid."
Mr Collins said the club's members have missed their restaurant and theatre visits, along with trips away.
He is also a member of the Milton Ulladulla Videography Club, which has been able to meet for three face to face meetings during recent months.
The Probus club hopes to continue to conduct a monthly function for members and would welcome local retirees who would benefit by meeting with other like-minded people to join them.
"We meet on the second Friday of each month at a local venue and our barbecues are held on the fourth Friday of the month at a venue somewhere between Sussex Inlet and Lake Tabourie," Mr Collins said.
"If you would like more details please contact the secretary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 4457 3325."
Likewise, Mrs Workman would encourage more people to join a community-based group.
"Being a member of a community group is a personal choice, and there are numerous types of groups within our community all focusing on different attributes of life," she said.
"However, those who do join a group are never alone; there is always somebody who is willing to listen and assist wherever they can, and a problem shared is a problem halved' after all."
Email email@example.com to make contact with the Milton Ulladulla VIEW Club.