02 6655 1121 Bellingen Shire Connections Centre

Personal Support

Community Services Directory

Have a Chat


Have a chat’ is the way that NCN local networks link up those who need some company with people who have offered to provide it, locally. This may be through regular or one-off phone calls or verandah chats, or any approach that seems appropriate and safe, locally.

Local Network Cooordinators help to match people needing company with people offering company.

When people needing company have more specific, age-related support needs, we have a skilled individual who can really understand an individual’s situation. This conversation will usually be by phone. If the problems are more complex, the ‘Have a chat’ service will link to professional support services through Bellingen Connections Centre.

Why do we need Have a Chat?

In ordinary times social isolation affects approximately 50% of older Australians over the age of 60. The Covid 19 Virus has further added to the risk and burden of social isolation for all Australians.


The purpose of ‘Have a Chat’ is to grow social engagement within the Bellingen community, whilst respecting the safety measures of social distancing and isolation.

Research suggests that regular and predictable contact with a person is more important than the actual content and length of the discussion. Just knowing that someone cares and wants to connect goes a long way to reducing the perception of loneliness and being disconnected.


Goals of Have a Chat

I am connected I am connected to a network of people in my Shire that can support me.

I am valued There are a network of people in my Shire who care about me and my well being

I have purpose – I am still able to contribute to the Shire by sharing my wisdom and giving my time.

I am safe – In these unprecedented times there is a network in the Shire to help keep me happy healthy and safe


To enroll, simply call 6655 1121 and select option 3


Business Support

Logo 2 - Business Support Network

or phone 6655 1522 to register your interest

or email: bushelpcv19@gmail.com 


The economic disruption evolving as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds is occurring at pace in Bellingen Shire. For business owners and their staff this is unexpected and uncharted territory.  Networks for people in business who want to stay connected, feel supported and be informed are a priority.  We have therefore created the Bellingen Shire Business Support Network.

The network is for:

  • business owners impacted by economic downturn or stress now or who might be in the future and
  • owners who wants to help in the shire wide Response to Covid19 (supporting residents or other businesses). 

We are calling people who join the network “participants”- irrespective of if they need help or are giving help. This is because everyone’s needs and situation may change as time moves on. 

Local Networks – by area 

Business people in the local network might need help, can provide help or be in both situations at the same time! The business environment is continually changing already and we expect this to continue as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. This network provides a way for us to help each other adapt to these changes. 

The businesses in these groups will be located in a small area – for example, a CBD shopping strip, an industrial area,  or an arts precinct.  

Support Networks- by business type 

Support networks for businesses with similar areas of endeavour, interest or needs can also be set up – for example, there could be a network for hospitality providers, health related businesses, retailers, farming, accommodation and tourism businesses and so on. 

It is possible to join more than one network.   

What Sort of Help Will Networks Provide? 

  • Be a source of information for business owners 
  • Provide networking opportunities between business owners 
  • Connect business owners with experts who can provide support for individual decision making  
  • Help businesses to connect with opportunities if they are identified 
  • Provide support to businesses that need to pause 
  • Provide support for the well being of business owners & staff 
  • Sharing ideas on how businesses are adapting to new economic environment 
  • Link with the wider Pandemic Response Group to enable:
    • business owners to respond to resident needs  (commercially or voluntarily)
    • get visibility of work opportunities in the Shire

Once registered you will be linked with the Local Coordinator for your area. Each network group will be self-managed. This means that together with your fellow business members in the group you will decide how you work and what sort of help and contact you have with each other. Tools and resources will be provided as they become available. 

Who Set Up This Network? 

The three Chambers of Commerce across Bellingen Shire; Dorrigo Chamber of Commerce, Bellingen Chamber of Commerce and Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Bellingen Shire Council. 

Bellingen Shire Neighbourhood Care Network logo

Need a Volunteer to deliver essential items from your business to elderly or Vulnerable customers in the Shire?  

The Neighborhood Care network has set up a small team of volunteers to support the elderly or vulnerable that are self isolating or don’t feel comfortable going to the Shops in the Shire.

If you want to be listed as a business that uses this service to support your elderly or vulnerable customers, then please call the NCN on 5627 6001 (between 10 and 2 Monday to Friday, select option 2) to register an interest and find out more.

If you are already registered, click on this form to complete your next day delivery requests.

Bellingen Shire Create logo

Bellingen Shire Council’s Business Create Page


The Create page Compiles the most recent list of Australian and State Government assistance. This information is being updated on a daily basis and has been simplified for easy interpretation.


Business Information Centre

Need advice/support?:  Call 6655 1522 M-F: 8:30am-4:30pm

Email us: bushelpcv19@gmail.com 


Council has adapted its business model and services in response to the Covid19 crisis. The Waterfall Way Visitor Centre in Bellingen recently closed its doors to tourists but has temporarily transitioned into a Business Information Centre –  a central hub of information/support to both the Business Support Network participants and for those that are not participating.

The Centre phones are manned 24/7 to:

  • help people register for the network;
  • assist businesses in need or 
  • provide advice about where to find information. 

Staff at the centre are able to provide expert interpretation of the Government’s Covid-19 business assistance programs and assistance with digital transitioning.

We will also be sharing stories on how businesses are adapting in the face of this crisis and the government restrictions through a dedicated Facebook page, Bellingen Shire Business Support Network.  Like our page so that you stay updated.  If your business is transitioning through innovation or adaptation, please, do share your story with us.

Bellingen Shire photo - rainforest

Phone: 02 6655 1121 

or contact us via council customer services at 6655 7300
email: council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au   


About Us

Our core objective is to support our community through this.
The Bellingen Shire Connects website brings together, in a coordinated manner, all the information, activities and support provisions of the Pandemic Response Group. It is maintained by the Connections Centre (the central coordination team of the Pandemic Response Group).

Bellingen Shire Connections Centre
Neighbourhood Care Network
Bellingen Shire Council
Pandemic Response Group
COVID clinic
business support network
community care

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