The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has been coordinating calls to our over 70’s to check in, provide support and link those needing help to appropriate provider groups, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, the volunteers involved have made well over 125,000 calls since Alert Level 4 began. Some of the people the volunteers have spoken to have needed help getting things like groceries and medicine, but it’s great to hear that most are coping well and receiving support from family or other support networks.
We have received excellent feedback about the positive impact this calling campaign is having on those that have been called, as well as the volunteers themselves.
One volunteer said, “Giving our time to the community has been really powerful, not only for achieving real benefit to those we spoke with but also to be thanked so much for something so simple as a phone call.”
The priority for the calling was to get in touch with those who are registered with MSD as living alone, who don’t have email addresses listed, as they are the most at risk of being isolated and not knowing where to get help.
They are now working their way through calling other people over 70. So, if you haven’t already received a call, you may get one soon. Don’t wait for a call if you have immediate concerns, there is a list of useful contact numbers at the end of this Newsletter.
All the volunteers involved in this service come from established and reputable community-based providers, many are employed by community groups, local councils or government agencies. Some are even local librarians that have been redeployed while the libraries have been closed.