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St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington and Newtown

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    • Collaboration, Coordination and Inspiration
      • 28 Sep 2020
      • St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington
      • <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > The past six months have provided opportunities for the Holy Trinity Eastern Suburbs Conference in Wellington, to provide new and existing clients with the assistance they need, when they need it.  It’s also provided real insight into, firstly, the value of collaboration and coordination between Parish, Conference members and Vinnie’s service staff in Newtown; and secondly, how a targeted and specific approach helps inspire members and clients alike. With the on-set of Level 4 lockdown in March 2020, our Conference used our existing client lists, Parish Office referrals of elderly and isolated parishioners, the Vinnies social worker referrals and Conference member knowledge to identify 180 clients to check-in on under lockdown conditions.            We then used 14 members (active members, associates and prospective members) to undertake check-in phone calls and find out whether there was any specific lockdown needs such as food supply, clothing or child/baby needs, bedding, encouragement through the stress of it all, advocacy, or on-going check-up calls. Overall, there was overwhelmingly positive feedback on the outreach from Vinnies which was also seen as representative of being part of a caring Parish.  Many practical needs were identified, such as nine households requiring weekly food parcels which, once referred by us, were delivered by the Vinnies vans from nearby Newtown. These services continued into Alert Levels 3 and 2, sometimes requiring our own Conference members to do deliveries.  As parishioners heard of the initiative through the grapevine and our notices in the online weekly parish newsletters, more food/household items and money were donated directly to help these clients.  Families with children who needed school items and clothing were also identified and, as we progressed to Alert Level 1, it was possible for one of our members to take these families shopping to secure necessary supplies. We have all long known that often the most effective services are those that require coordination to fulfil a range of needs.  These needs also require more than one person or group involved in order to achieve the best outcomes.  Conversely, it is often a lack of coordination that provides the most frustration for those in most need who have multiple needs.  COVID-19 gave us an opportunity to showcase the value of Parish Office staff, priests, parishioners, our Conference members and Vinnies Welfare Centre staff working together – it was inspiring for all involved.
      • Accepted from Vinnies news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • newtown
      • covid-19

    • Small Team, Big Impact
      • 2 Apr 2020
      • St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington
      • <a class="image-slide-anchor content-fill" > <a class="image-slide-anchor content-fill" > St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington (Vinnies) has adapted its welfare and support services to provide essential service packs to individuals and families struggling throughout the COVID-19 Level 4 lock-down. “We’re ensuring our community has access to essential items which we hope will help give them some peace of mind over this uncertain time, as well as help free-up any extra cash to go towards additional food and bills” says Manager, John Rossbotham. These packs cover three key needs: food support, baby material support and winter goods such as warm clothing, bedding, heating and cookware. A small team of six key staff, including two delivery drivers are continuing to work from the Newtown Welfare and Service Hub to answer incoming calls and distribute packs. “Often people are simply relieved you have answered their call as they struggle to get through to overwhelmed government support lines” says Communications and Marketing Manager, Millie Lambess. “For many single parents and people living on their own, there is comfort in knowing they aren’t alone and have the support of a service like Vinnies throughout the lock-down.” Alongside this practical support, the Vinnies Community Social Worker is continuing to work closely with on-going cases and Vinnies Members are calling isolated elderly to check-in with them each week. “I am concerned at the impact of social isolation and stress on those already experiencing life challenges, including sole parents, those living alone or struggling with mental health. Once people are assured they have support for basic needs, they are verbalising anxiety around their safety, or their family’s safety. Emotional and psychological support is going to be very important the longer this lock down continues, and ability to provide personal human connection will be a priority” says Community Social Worker, Tania Martin. Since the lock-down began, the Newtown centre has seen a 380% increase in people accessing its services, with the majority in need of food. Bulk orders of food and essential items are being purchased on a weekly basis by the Society with fresh produce continuing to come in from Kaibosh and local restaurants such as Where’s Charlie? who donated fresh produce after they closed. With the closure of the main funding source, Vinnies Op Shops and unable to accept drop-off food donations from the public,St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington is calling on the wider community to consider making a cash donation towards the purchase of food bank supplies. Donations can be made vinnies-wellington.org.nz/donate.
      • Accepted from Vinnies news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • newtown
      • covid-19
      • government
      • restaurants
      • wellington
      • art
      • elderly
      • people

    • Newtown Collective
      • 4 Apr 2019
      • St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington
      • Newtown is one of Wellington’s most ethnically diverse and creative suburbs, it’s full of character (and colourful characters) but out of this melting pot springs a strong sense of community.
      • Accepted from Vinnies news by feedreader
      • Tagged as:
      • newtown

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