By Anglican Family Care | Posted: Wednesday June 3, 2020

What a challenging 2020 it has been so far - for all of us. As we shift into winter it is encouraging to reflect on the way New Zealanders have banded together in response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know the threat may well linger for some time and that the damage will be widespread but it has been wonderful over the last week to be able to escape our bubbles and gradually reconnect with friends, whānau and colleagues.

Our offices in Dunedin, Oamaru, Balclutha, Alexandra and Wanaka have been progressively reopening since we entered Alert Level 2, and we are gradually reintroducing home and face to face visits with stringent screening and safety processes in place. For many the alternative of video and phone calls will remain in place for now- there are definitely some anxieties present throughout the community after so long in isolation. And who was familiar with contact tracing 3 months ago? We certainly all are now!

The challenge of keeping the agency connected throughout lockdown was made all that much easier by the willingness of our staff to stay actively involved. Consistent ongoing communication was vitally important. Regular meetings using video conferencing have been invaluable, and we were able to join together as a whole agency which was fantastic in the midst of the isolation. It meant we were able to provide a cohesive response that ensured our workers felt supported and connected and that we were familiar with the issues facing each of the communities we support.

We know the challenge ahead is likely to be significant but it is not ours alone, so linking with our wider community will continue to be fundamentally important. There is some outstanding work being done within the social service sector in Otago- the strength of this sector cannot be underestimated, particularly when we work together. Anglican Family Care will certainly play our part and our wonderfully skilled workers will ensure that we continue to make a difference.

Stay safe, and stay well.
Ngā mihi nui