Community Covid response group to provide help

Stepping up in a time of crisis is a task Fiordlanders are used to, the region’s community board chairwoman says.

In response to the global pandemic, a community Covid response group was set up to provide help to the community of about 2500 people.

"We are being really proactive," Fiordland Community board chairwoman Sarah Greaney said —"having a proactive approach gives us a degree of control."

The group included local community groups, police, the community board and the Fiordland Medical Centre, she said.

Support included setting up a "buddy system" to pair the elderly, vulnerable or those in self-isolation with someone who could make them feel less alone. Volunteers were co-ordinated by Fiordland Community House.

The group was also working with Great South to contact businesses which would be financially affected — that included highlighting the aid available through the Government package announced last week and given a boost yesterday.

"We are particularly aware that businesses in Fiordland will have already been financially compromised because of the flooding, and now we’ve got this on top."

Three businesses had already closed, Mrs Greaney said.

Counselling services were also available, to help reduce stress levels.

Another community initiative was "Meals For Mates", which would provide food to community members in need.

While not a new service, its volunteers had put up their hand to say they could help. Initiative founder Hannah Edmonds said 54 people had offered assistance in terms of cooking, freezer space and delivering meals since last last week.

"It’s a huge response and it just keeps continuing."

With the help of Anna Ladbrook, the service introduced extra health and safety measures.

"There’s things we’ve never really thought about before, like contact and wearing masks. It’s another element in how we organised it properly, to not spread anything."


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