Amidst the recent devastation that has come with COVID-19, local businesses are working together to provide hope and generosity to those in need within the Hunter community.
(Pictured: Geoff McQueen and Alison McQueen with one of the care packs)
On the frontlines of the pandemic, local home health care provider Newcastle and Hunter Community Health (NHCH) has seen the first-hand impact the virus has had on the more vulnerable members of the region.
As a result, NHCH has partnered with a number of local businesses to provide vulnerable community members with care packs. Valued between $60-70, the care packs include a selection of basic essentials such as toilet paper, cleaning products and canned goods.
Managing Director of NHCH, Alison McQueen said more than ever before, it is important the community come together in any way they can to provide support during these challenging times.
“Our team has seen the struggle of local individuals and families as a result of this pandemic. For us, being such a community focused business, we feel it’s our responsibility and to support where we can,” Alison said.
“We just mentioned this in passing to a handful of business owners and they all wanted to get involved as well. A lot of people feel like they want to help, but don’t know where to start or how to help the people who need it the most. This resulted in eight businesses contributing funds so that we could buy far more care packs than we had originally anticipated.”
Local businesses that have put their hand up to get involved include:
Alison said that many of their clients have had to turn to Government funding to meet their everyday needs.
“Many of our clients and others in similar situations have found that their informal support networks have broken down during the crisis and the current restrictions. Whereas friends and family might have helped around the home or purchased medicine and groceries on their behalf previously, the lockdown has really made that difficult, so people like our elderly or those with a disability have been forced to become more reliant on government funded services,” she said.
She hopes that the care packages take away some of the burden on individuals and provide some of the essentials that can be difficult to get otherwise.
“We’ve purchased the items for the care packs, ensured we’ve packed them using appropriate hygiene methods and delivered them using all the current guidelines set out by the Department of Health,” Alison said.
“Our number one priority and promise as a business has always been to look out for the community. We hope that by providing these care packages we are fulfilling that duty and can provide a little bit of happiness during this difficult time.”
Those who need a helping hand and would benefit from a care package as a result of COVID-19 can reach out to Newcastle and Hunter Community Health for details.