26 April 2020
Ensuring our most vulnerable people are cared for
Responding to requests for support is a key focus for Rotorua Lakes Council’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
Our Welfare team is working with iwi and other agencies in our community to ensure our most vulnerable people are cared for. This has involved a joint effort with the Salvation Army to deliver food and essential items to those most in need in our community.
Here is Tony, one of our Welfare team members, who has been delivering this service to our tenants in pensioner housing throughout Alert Level 4.
Tony is a member of council’s Property Services Team, which looks after all of council’s buildings including council pensioner flats. He is one of 47 council staff who during the COVID-19 lockdown have been pulled out of their normal work to be part of the council’s EOC, which is part of the national emergency response system.
The council EOC’s main focus has been on providing welfare assistance which has included delivery of essential goods to local pensioners.
This has meant that people who do not have family or friends nearby who could safely get these items for them, have been able to stay safe and in their homes during these difficult few weeks and have not gone without food and other essential items.
Council’s EOC Welfare Function Manager, Linda Johnston says, “Our elderly are pretty resilient people usually, however under lockdown, a few needed some additional assistance with things such as shopping. Many of the folk we have been helping are happy to pay for their groceries; we just provide the transport and do the shopping on their behalf to keep them safe.
“We know that both individuals and other organisations in the district are helping out their local communities in similar ways and these acts of humanity and kindness are silver linings in such difficult times.”
A grocery delivery service is just one of the many welfare responses our EOC provides. To date, Council’s EOC has received over 530 requests for service from the community. These requests come from both individuals and organisations and range from requests for food and essential items to requests for information, and everything in between.
If you, or someone you know in the Bay of Plenty is unable to access essential items such as food or medication, you can phone 0800 884 222 for assistance.
You can learn more about Council’s Emergency Operations Centre here.