Combating COVID-19 together
Daily life looks different during COVID-19. We’re all adjusting to new routines and restrictions—at Mission Australia, the way we serve people in vulnerable situations is taking a creative turn.
From meal drop offs to 'boredom buster' bags and over-the-phone tutoring, our teams across the country are proactively responding to the pandemic so no one feels isolated and alone. Here are some ways we’re caring for Australian families and children through the crisis.
Care Packs in Goulburn
With families stuck at home, Mission Australia’s Goulburn’s Place Plan team are leaving amazing goody bags on their doorsteps. Filled with activities for kids, puzzles, some little treats and information on local services, these packs have been helping families in the local Goulburn community stay connected..
In collaboration with Headspace, PCYC, Marymead and Family Referral Service, the team created care packs that were delivered to each home by the NSW Police Hume Local Area Command. A true community effort!
Youth Beat providing food relief in Clarence Plains
Joseph and the Youth Beat team in Tasmania have transformed the Youth Beat van to a delivery truck to help provide food relief meals to vulnerable young people and their families. Together with Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre, they have delivered 180 delicious meals which have been cooked, packed, and delivered by volunteers. Joseph included some activities like checkers to help pass the time at home.
“We normally leave the meals at the door, go back to the car and give them a honk to let them know we’ve dropped them off. I usually get a wave from the window!” -Joseph, Youth Beat TAS
Busting Boredeom in Broken Hill
Physical distancing doesn’t mean we need to get through this time on our own. Mission Australia's Broken Hill team have been putting together 'Boredom Buster Bags' for their Connections Program participants. Filled with activities and resources, these bags have helped people find moments of joy during their time at home. By partnering with a local restaurant, the team are also delivering delicious meals to families in need.
"Not everyone can connect with others online, so we're doing everything we can so show people they’re not alone." – Jenna, Program Manager, NSW
School holiday fun with Circles of Care Inala
Mission Australia's Circles of Care team have compiled Fun-In-A-Box packs for students and families to have some fun and stay safe during school holidays. Filled with daily learning plans, craft items and fun DIY projects these boxes brought a lot joy to young kids and their parents.
"The best part of Fun-In-A-Box is that it is fun... they have fun making, drawing, reading and taking pictures to show their awesome work! It's been nice to break up the day with a little bit of fun and still learning skills at the same time." – Mum, Circles of Care Participant
So far, more than 20 boxes have been packed and distributed to families in Acacia Ridge, Carole Park and Inala areas around Brisbane.
Keeping teenagers occupied at Claymore
When high school students started complaining of boredom while being asked to stay at home, Jess and the Claymore team from NSW used creativity to come up with entertainment packs to keep their minds and bodies active. Perfect for a teen stuck at home, each pack is filled with entertainment ideas including fidget spinners and exercise plans.
“As we walked away after dropping off some care packs to a family, you could hear the excitement in their voices. “Yay now we have stuff to do!”” - Jess, Case Manager, NSW.
Happy learning for children in Ipswich
Tutors from our HIPPY (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) program in Ipswich are still making school time fun for children.
Rather than weekly visits, tutors are now teaching students remotely over the phone and online. Mission Australia has provided families who do not have internet with sim packs cards to provide access to educational and learning programs. Children are delighted they can still learn, and parents are thrilled to have tutor support while at home.
"Just look at how excited some of the children are to be a part of HIPPY and to be able to keep learning from home." – Jenny, Program Manager, QLD
Youth are jumping for joy in Perth
Scott and the WA team have provided inflatable activities for the young residents at YASS (Youth Accommodation Support Service). The inflatables have provided them with a fun way to pass the time and to stay active while social distancing.
“They love it. It gives them a chance to be both entertained and get exercise. One of the kids kept using the phrase, ’This is crazy fun’.” – Scott, Chaplin WA.
These are a few great examples of how our teams are caring for Australian families and children through the crisis. Every day Mission Australia services are reaching those in need and restoring hope.
Staying connected with parents in Chigwell
When Jenny and the team from Chigwell House delivered care packs to families in their local community, the parents were overjoyed.
"One parent was overwhelmed to tears when she asked if she had to return the muffin tin and we told her she could keep them," says Jenny the Program Manager. "The children also waved excitedly from the window, shouting, 'thank you'!"
In the past few weeks, the Chigwell house team have been staying connected with groups of parents over the phone, sharing positive and heartwarming messages each day.
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