Times Like These - Locals Helping Locals

May 18, 2020


Over the past three months our world has completely changed due to COVID-19, as we begin to normalise the idea of social distancing and self-isolation. Even during this global crisis, local businesses around the Hunter have gone above and beyond to help our community. So, intouch Magazine would like to shine a spotlight on the amazing community spirit of the Hunter and sharing a few good things that is happening in our local scene.




Newy Burger Co – Kindness Boxes
It started with soup and bread – but in true Newcastle style the community got behind Newy Burger Co. to create the Kindness Box. Newy Burger Co’s Kindness Boxes initiative allows the most vulnerable in our community to have the essentials, during this challenging time. With additional support from local businesses the Kindness Box now offers a family meals for a week, essentials, vouchers and many other goodies. We all need a little kindness in this madness! 


Wildflower Espresso – 650 Coffees given to Healthcare Workers
Amazing customers started requesting if they could shout a coffee for healthcare workers – so, Wildflower Espresso created a campaign. Within just a few hours they had sold around 80 coffees, and now they have shouted over 650 coffees for healthcare workers over the last few weeks!


Novocastrian Manufacturer Supplying Life Saving Ventilators
Newcastle local business Ampcontrol has produced life-saving emergency ventilators – their engineers designing and delivering the first functional emergency ventilator prototype to the John Hunter Hospital Simulation Unit for testing by specialist clinicians in just 18 days. Production of 10 pilot ventilators will now commence with further clinical assessment and testing by NSW Health, with the aim of enabling 600 ventilators to be rapidly built in the Hunter region if the need arises.


Free Parking for our Frontline Workers
City of Newcastle will provide free residential parking permits to key health care workers and emergency services personnel to help them respond faster to emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Essential Services Temporary Parking Permit will allow doctors, nurses, pharmacists and paramedics who live in commercial zones (city centre, Hamilton and Darby St) to park close to home for free and for an unlimited time. For more information visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au  


Sapphire Indian Restaurant
During this crisis, Sapphire Indian Restaurant have been delivering complimentary meals to all frontline workers in the emergency department at John Hunter Hospital.


Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows
Help Caves Coastal support those in need! For every meal purchased, Caves Coastal will in return be offering a pre-packaged meal to someone in need during this tough time. If you, or someone you know is struggling, get in touch with them now at: www.facebook.com/CavesCoastal


Dougheads The Junction have been delivery their amazing sweet treats to our frontline workers at the Calvary Mater and John Hunter Hospital over the past month.


Hunter Distillery is known for making our favourite gins and vodkas, but they have responded to the extraordinary demand for hand sanitizer by creating their very own range that is available online and in store. If you are needing to stock up – shop and support local!

If you’re enjoying a daily happy hour during isolation, be sure to check out Hunter Distillery’s Quarantini recipe below – time to get mixing!



▪ 15ml Hunter Distillery Chocolate Vodka
▪ 15ml Valli Coffee Vodka
▪ 30ml espresso
▪ 1 cinnamon stick
▪ A dash of black pepper
▪ 2 tsp cayenne powder
▪ 2 tsp chilli powder
▪ 2 tbsp cocoa powder


Combine espresso, black pepper, cayenne powder and chilli powder in the bottom of a coffee mug. Add Hunter Distillery Chocolate Vodka, Valli Coffee Vodka and cocoa powder, stir with the cinnamon stick. Add hot water or milk/cream as preferred. Drink and enjoy.



To help the community help each other, Lake Macquarie City Council have produced some ‘Meet the Street’ Care Cards, that allow you to easily check-in on your neighbour. If you're worried about your elderly neighbour or someone who lives near you, why not drop a note in their mailbox? Click here to find out more: www.lakemac.com.au/COVID-19/Community-support



The City of Newcastle has developed a free wellbeing toolkit designed to help people navigate financial, psychological and public health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pack includes tips for boosting your immune system, like getting enough sleep and eating well; improving your mental health through mindfulness exercises; looking after your social wellbeing by staying connected with friends and family and more.


Looking forward to the end of the week? Have you heard about LIVE at The Levee Home Sessions on Friday nights? As the physical program is currently unable to occur, LIVE at The Levee Home Sessions have been developed to ensure the community can stay connected and to support local businesses in new ways.  Watch live every Friday via www.facebook.com.au/theleveemaitland


The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly increased the need for the Soul Café’s Newcastle services. To assist them during this time, Collective Heart are organising and coordinating the Sleepout for Soul at Home fundraising event for Soul Café on Friday 29th May 2020. This will allow the Soul Café team to continue their focus and efforts on helping the disadvantaged in our local community. For more information and to register visit: www.collectiveheart.com.au/sleepout-for-soul



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Every month intouch magazine captures the unique spirit of our region and grabs the attention of the community. Intouch magazine showcases what’s hot, what’s on and who’s who with a dynamic blend of inspirational articles, lifestyle features, fashion, events, food and travel – it’s the go-to source for people living in (or visiting) Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and The Hunter Valley. It’s the place to be seen to build your reputation, tell your story, launch a new enterprise and keep the community intouch both in print and online.



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