Latest Updates + Advice
Knowing your neighbours is going to be an important part of what gets us through the COVID-19 pandemic, and Neighbourhood Support has a vital role to play in this. We already support over 214,000 households who are linked into over 17,500 street groups throughout New Zealand.
We have put together some information and resources to help you support your communities.
We are following Ministry of Health guidelines about how to keep ourselves safe and limit the spread of the virus. This is a rapidly evolving situation and it is important that we keep ourselves informed with current and reliable information.
The official sources of information are:
Ministry of Health: www.health.govt.nz
This site hosts the latest prevention and treatment advice.
Unite Against COVID-19: www.covid19.govt.nz
This is a government site that has everything you need to know about COVID-19, from financial support, advice about self-isolation, as well as information for community groups, employers and travellers.
If you or someone you know has symptoms they can call the COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453. If visiting your GP remember to call first.
Supporting our Neighbourhood Support households and groups
Over the next few weeks the number of people working from home, or self-isolating in their homes, is going to increase. Here are some ideas for how you can support the neighbourhoods you work with:
Encourage people to set up street groups if they don’t already have them. We have put together a flyer you can use to encourage people to do this.
Encourage your existing groups to update their contact details so neighbours are able to phone, email or text each other if needed.
Identify people or groups in your neighbourhoods who may be vulnerable or isolated. This may include older people, people with disabilities, people for whom English is a second language and people who do not have access to the internet. Are there ways you can support them? It might be a great time to connect with other social service organisations, such as Age Concern or your local migrant centre, and see if there are ways you can work together.
Don’t forget about your local businesses. They can also be part of Neighbourhood Support groups, and many are under considerable stress at the moment.
People are unlikely to want to meet physically so we will be heavily reliant on communicating through email and social media. It’s a good time to make sure we are communicating with our Neighbourhood Support street groups and households to remind them that we are there to help. The tone of our communications is very important. Let’s be the voice of calm, reassurance and kindness. Only send out information and advice from trusted sources, such as NZ Police, Ministry of Health or NSNZ.
If your committee needs to meet but is unable to do this in person you are welcome to use our National Office video-conferencing platform, Zoom. This means you will be able to host a meeting online. Just get in touch with Kelsey (email@example.com) if you would like to find out more or set up a meeting.
You may have other great ideas. Let’s share them! You may also identify something that is proving to be an issue or challenge for you or your community. Let us know at National Office and we can share with other Neighbourhood Support member organisations, or help you trouble shoot.
Looking after yourself
It is very important that we all take responsibility for our own health. If you are feeling unwell, stay home. And, of course, be vigilant about handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow and practicing ‘social distancing’ (maintaining at least 1 metre distance from others).
This is an anxious time. It’s normal to feel distressed or to be feeling symptoms of stress. To help manage your mental wellbeing you can:
Reassure yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction to a stressful situation, and it will pass.
Talk to someone and let them know how you are feeling.
Help others – the evidence shows that being kind and helping others is also good for the individual who is lending a hand. Even a smile can help!
Keep active – go for a walk or spend time outdoors and try to maintain your usual routines.
If you feel that you aren’t coping there is help and professional support available. You can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We have put together some new resources for you to use during this time.
Know Your Neighbours A5 Flyer
This is a double-sided flyer that you can hand out or send out to encourage people to start a street group and exchange contact details with their neighbours.
Reach Out, Look Out, Help Out Posters + Social Media Graphics
Self Isolation Flyer
To be completed by anyone wishing to provide support to those self isolating.
Neighbourhood Plan Template
To determine who in your area needs assistance and how you'll keep in touch.
These files and more can be downloaded in the COVID-19 Resources Kit we've put together below.
COVID-19 Resources Kit
The following are newly developed Neighbourhood Support resources that can be distributed to households to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.