Community Assistance Initiatives
The number of vulnerable people in our community is currently broader than it usually is. This pandemic has created new vulnerabilities among people who have lost their jobs, people with higher risk to COVID-19, people with mental health issues for whom social isolation creates even further concerns, young people who no longer have school or university outlets and many more. Council is working with many agencies to provide assistance and support whoever possible to these traditional and non-traditional vulnerable communities.
Some initiatives include:
- Financial support for community centres and agencies providing food packages to those in need, including people who have previously never accessed such a service.
- A list of ideas for community members to keep occupied while isolated has been designed and will be made available to households to print.
- A handy hard-copy snapshot of tips, recommendations and advice for staying safe during the pandemic to be available to residents without access to the internet.
- A central coordination point for all local emergency responses. This includes maintaining a portal or list of what each agency is doing/no longer doing, where emergency food relief is being prepared, where donations can be made, where the points of distribution are etc.
- Providing resources to assist State Emergency Service and Tasmania Police checking on vulnerable people at the nominated addresses.
- Working with Star Theatre to establish a drive-in cinema at a Council carpark (when the time is right) and partnering with local food businesses doing delivery or takeaway.
- The Youth Advisory Group is undertaking a project to promote social responsibility amongst young people during this pandemic, as it has been identified that many young people are not complying with the social distancing etiquette currently expected by society.
- Working with aged-care services and disability service providers to identify any opportunities to reduce the feelings of social isolation amongst their people. This could include a postcards initiative between young people and residents in care for example.
The Council's Community Development team has redirected its resources to activate as many initiatives as possible. They will also continue to assess new ideas while communicating with other agencies to ensure the Launceston community feels connected.