The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted us all and during turbulent times like these, many in the community may be feeling worried, anxious and overwhelmed.

One of the ways the City is staying connected with our community is by calling those most vulnerable to the virus – our seniors.

As part of a new ‘check in’ service, our Community Engagement officers have been calling people on our senior’s data-base, which has more than 400 people on it.

We are currently nearly half way through: this is an ongoing initiative.

The aim is to tell our older citizens about services the City is currently providing, such as library book deliveries and putting programs online.

We are also advising people where to access up-to-date, accurate information and asking for feedback about their current needs for support.

The main concern expressed by the elderly is access to shops and groceries, so City staff are working with community service providers to ensure food and essentials are available.

City staff are also preparing and delivering ‘care packs’ consisting of food and basic essentials for seniors who have indicated that they are having difficulty in accessing shopping/groceries.

In the longer term, the Department of Communities will be looking into what can be done in this regard and leading a coordinated approach.

Council is also continuing its work on the small business support packages I wrote about last week. Among these are advertising grants to local small businesses on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis.

We are well on the way to completing the online portal that will sit on the City’s website. This portal will provide a platform to profile local small businesses, promote their operations and drive online traffic to their websites and social media pages to encourage local spending.

It’s important to stay connected while self-isolating in this difficult time. Remember that we’re all in this together and there are many services available to help.

You don’t need to wait for a call - if you’d like to reach out to the Community Engagement team or ask about our business support packages, please contact the City on 9186 8555.