Extraordinary Times Will Connect Communities and Help the Most Vulnerable
These are extraordinary times where extraordinary things can happen. Volunteering Gold Coast, which services across the Gold Coast for the last 26 years, has taken steps to support the most vulnerable and isolated within the community, as well as the many charities on the Gold Coast who are needing assistance.
“In such challenging times, organisations like Volunteering Gold Coast, which exist to serve the community, must step up. Our Purpose statement says that we exist to ‘Create Social Impact’ – so that’s what we’re doing.” Said Mr Simon Nugus CEO VGC
Volunteering Gold Coast has launched new initiatives to directly meet the needs of people on the Gold Coast – especially those who are most vulnerable, and most at risk of being isolated due to diminished services and supports. These services include:
- The commencement of a high-risk patient transport service in partnership with Queensland Health, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service and City of Gold Coast. This service provides isolated transportation for people who require testing for COVID-19. Armed with stringent training and PPE from Queensland Health’s Public Health Unit, Volunteering Gold Coast supports enables people to access the Virus testing stations and fever clinics across the Gold Coast, and returns them safely to their homes.
- The commencement of a volunteer calling program which provides regular telephone welfare checks for people who are at risk of social isolation.
- A social telephone calling program to help prevent feelings of loneliness and disconnection for those who are in isolation.
- A pen-pal program whereby volunteers write notes and letters to people who are isolated, particularly older Australians and NDIS Participants.
- An array of services for people who are unable to leave their home:
- Pick-up and drop-off of medications from Pharmacies
- Grocery deliveries to alleviate reduced deliveries from supermarkets
- Packaging of food and staple hampers, and delivery to people in need
- Uptake of homeless services which were forced to close, and the provision of weekly meals to people who are homeless or transient
- The delivery of food and clothing to homeless youth due to closure of existing services
- The delivery of books, simple recipes and recreational activities to people pass the time while in isolation
- Expansion of individual and isolated transport services to ensure continuation of services for people who require Renal or Oncology treatments.
- Delivery of masks and hand sanitiser to ‘at risk’ people, including NDIS Participants, people who are homeless, and aged care recipients who live at home.
- Expansion of in-home cleaning and other practical services, using staff who are trained in the use of personal protective equipment to prevent spread of COVID-19.
“To me, that we are able to provide these essential services to people in our community, and to also provide support to other community-based organisations, says so much about our staff, our organisation and, most importantly, the power of volunteerism. It would be so easy to only think of ourselves in these uncertain times, but here we see people who, despite everything, are willing to prioritise the wellbeing of their neighbour.” Said Mr Nugus.
“We don’t like to say ‘no’. Our teams of staff and volunteers are hugely invested in connecting communities and we will make anything possible. We are actively partnering with local organisations to meet the needs of the already vulnerable people, who are likely to be even more vulnerable now. If there are charities on the Gold Coast that need assistance, please call us. We are here to help, now more than ever.” Said Mr Nugus.
Walk With Us, a member of VGC who feed the homeless weekly, diversified their offering to avoid closure. Instead of physically feeding the homeless they made hampers and Volunteering Gold Coast store the hampers and will deliver to those who need them.