Australian Red Cross Response to COVID-19

While we continue to support those affected by the bushfires, we wanted  to update you on what we are also doing in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

For 106 years, Red Cross has stood with Australians through disasters, emergencies and the other challenges life throws at us.

This is no exception.

We are working with federal and state governments, thousands of volunteers across the country, and millions across the world to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are guided by our fundamental principles and our commitment to protect life, health, respect and dignity.

Supporting the community

Our focus is on helping people to maintain vital social connections through periods of self-isolation and social distancing.

  • In some states we are making daily check-in calls to people who are in mandatory self-isolation, with a focus on those who might be especially vulnerable. We are putting together plans with all state and territory governments to expand this support.
  • We share health and safety messages to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • We will compile and share ideas from the community on how to maintain wellbeing and social connections during periods of self-isolation.
  • We will ‘spread kindness’ – encouraging safe and practical ways for people to look after each other and support those who may be more vulnerable at this time.

Protecting clients, volunteers and staff

We are taking critical steps to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and protect our clients and people. This includes limiting face-to-face contact, providing services by phone and email wherever possible, and working with each service to ensure that people have the support they need.

  • Our Red Cross Calling fundraiser is underway, and we’re taking it online. We’re not asking volunteers to knock on doors any more.
  • Red Cross Shops are currently open but we are putting preventative health measures in place.
  • First Aid training courses are continuing with preventative health measures in place. We encourage people to contact us if they wish to rebook.

We continue to monitor the outbreak in line with public health advice and will make further changes as needed.

Supporting the global response

Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide are working to contain the spread of COVID-19 and support those who are affected.

Australian Red Cross aid workers are part of this response, supporting pandemic preparedness, emergency operations and emergency health services.

And in the meantime…

Our everyday work continues. That includes:

  • providing financial assistance to Australians affected by bushfires
  • supporting refugees and new arrivals to settle in and make ends meet
  • making check-in phone calls to elderly folks who could use a chat
  • working with people in prison and young people at risk

As you know, this situation is changing daily and the Red Cross response to COVID-19 will continue to evolve as the impacts of the pandemic are known.  We know that in the weeks ahead there will be times of anxiety, times of uncertainty and times when we are all lifted by the spirit of humanity.

There are many ways  our valued partners can help us:

Give blood, if you can. Our friends at Red Cross Lifeblood have taken necessary steps to ensure donor centres are safe.

Support our Ongoing Work. When times are tough, we all go into help. Because a little support at the right time is life-changing. It gives them the strength to keep going.

Here’s what we can do with your help:

  • Ensure people who have fled conflict or persecution overseas have what they need to settle safely in Australia and build a life in their new communities.
  • Enable us to continue making check-in phone calls to elderly folks who could use a chat
  • Give young Australians who have had a run-in with the law a chance to rehabilitate, contribute to society, and turn their lives around
  • Support initiatives designed and delivered in regional and remote Australian communities, giving local people opportunities that might not otherwise come their way
  • Support people through immediate and long-term recovery when disaster strikes, and champion disaster risk reduction across our region

For more information on supporting us in helping the most vulnerable Australians in our community, please contact Mara Patterson on mpatterson@redcross.org.au

Make a donation.  To help us continue our humanitarian effort to support  vulnerable Australians.  It could be monetary, provision of goods or services, logistics, volunteers or tech solutions.

Share Kindness. If you have great ideas to beat loneliness during periods of self-isolation, let us know.

For more information on how to prepare for Coronavirus , please visit our website here – https://www.redcross.org.au/news-and-media/news/our-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19

For more information, please contact Mara Patterson on mpatterson@redcross.org.au

 

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