15 November 2023

A night of laughs to help tackle the serious problem of homelessness among older people

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Tommy Dean.

Tommy Dean will headline the Age Matters comedy night. Photo: Stand Up Comedians.

Homelessness among older people is no laughing matter – except when some of Australia’s most talented comedians get together to help raise funds to tackle the issue.

Wollongong Comedy is returning to the newly renovated Basement at the Builders Club on Friday 24 November with a stellar line-up of stars including Tommy Dean, Fiona Cox and David Smiedt.

The fundraiser is in support of Age Matters, an initiative of IRT that specialises in helping vulnerable older people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and isolation and relies on the support of the community to provide these services.

In 2022-23 Age Matters assisted almost 300 older people to access appropriate services and accommodation, more than double the number of people helped the previous year.

Age Matters Manager Natasha Debsieh said there were many older people in our communities who were doing it tough and needed help.

“The scary thing is there are only one or two life circumstances that can take any of us from having everything to having next to nothing. A lost job. A relationship breakdown. A serious illness. It can happen to any of us and all it can take is a run of bad luck,” Natasha said.

“The widespread housing crisis in Australia, coupled with cost of living pressures, is impacting older peoples’ ability – especially those on fixed incomes – to access age-appropriate accommodation, services, medicines and food.

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“The demand for housing and homelessness services from older people in Australia is rising. In 2019-20, over 24,000 people aged 55 and over sought services from specialist homelessness support agencies like Age Matters.

“Let’s turn frowns upside down and raise funds to ensure every older heart in our community finds a cosy nest.

“Come along to the Age Matters Comedy Night and let your laughter fuel our mission to help more vulnerable seniors find age-friendly, affordable housing.”

Headline act Tommy Dean has been a familiar face on many Australian shows, including Spicks and Specks, Sunrise, The Glasshouse, Good News Week, Thank God it’s Friday and the Today Show.

The American comedian has a unique understanding of Australia, its audiences and what makes us laugh. Tommy’s performance style is laid back and he’s a stand-out winner with audiences across his adopted nation.

David Smiedt has been delighting audiences around the country and overseas with his comedy for more than 12 years and is one of Australia’s finest comedian MCs and corporate performers.

Fiona Cox is a Sydney stand-up comedian who has performed all over Australia. She performed her debut solo show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and is a regular feature on the Sydney comedy scene.

Age Matters Comedy Night is on Friday 24 November at 8 pm at The Builders Club, Church St, Wollongong. Tickets are $40, book online or phone 134 478.

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