Open Letter

Open letter from West Coast Youth and Community Support CEO 30/03/2020 

Kindness, empathy and respect NOT fear and anxiety! Spare a thought for others – especially our small regional communities where the impact of drought and fires have already impacted the fibre of their community lives and connections The easier said than done “physical distancing” and staying home – when shopping may have to be 200 km away or you just can’t get what you need and is essential when you go to the shops. Practice safe travelling, social distancing NO it’s actually physical distancing! Don’t frenzy shop, 10 people together, 2 people together, maintain services!!! 

These are some of the thoughts running daily through my head. As well as a random pop up mental image that seems to happen when I have been worrying too much of a Zombie Apocalypse. 

At this time we at West Coast Youth and Community Support feel that it is imperative to continue to deliver our services. We have introduced and will continue to rapidly adapt to continue to deliver services and get through this complex time. We feel it is vital that health literacy information, early intervention services and other services to those most vulnerable continue to be provided. As we all in our community work towards ensuring a slowed curve occurs so our hospital and primary and acute health services are able to cope. WCYCS believes it is important to continue to deliver our services to support avoidable hospital admissions where and when we can in our community in a safe manner. 

As someone who has experienced homelessness, couch surfing, and poverty in my life, I like so many of the people that access our services are in the highly ‘vulnerable’ group due to co-morbid or chronic illness as a result of lifestyle or circumstances impacting on our health. For this reason it is more important than ever in the current time that support combined with good factual and easy to understand information is provided. That service continuity occurs to people in these situations and supports are offered and provided in a meaningful way. It is also acutely important to be kind and caring to each other at this time. We truly are all in this together. 

Our aim at WCYCS through this period is to ensure staff safety, maintain vital services to the best of our ability and provide open communication to our community on the Eyre Peninsula. 

I have attached our customer services protocol (22/3/2019) that outlines changes to service delivery. This will be updated as required through this period. 

My heart goes out to all those impacted by job losses in our region currently – our thoughts are with you and if needed and suited our services are open to you. I would like to say thank you to health workers, doctors, our WCYCS staff and our communities on the Eyre Peninsula who are playing their part during this difficult time. When we work towards focusing on what we can control, be kind where and when we can to ourselves, in our families and community we have the ability to get through most challenges – this one is no different. 

During this time I have made regular appointments available (in line with infection control) from anyone connected to any WCYCS programs who may have any questions that can’t be answered through our recommended COVID – 19 information and resources which are via SA Health and www.health.gov.au. Either myself or someone else @ WCYCS may be able to help. Please contact Bek at WCYCS bek@wcycs.com.au or 86830072 and provide reason for meeting request. 

Please take care, stay safe and look out for each other. 

Good thoughts, blessings and kind wishes, Jo 

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