The impact of the current crisis has taken many forms, from the direct effects of the disease itself to the mental health repercussions and financial hardship that the national shutdown has caused. To help support people in NSW who are in need right now, the state government has launched a new online platform that matches healthy volunteers with those looking for assistance.
The program, which is a collaboration with the Centre for Volunteering, was first inspired by the overwhelming outpouring of generosity brought on by last summer’s bushfire disaster, which inspired people across the country to volunteer their time and skills to help affected communities. Anyone wishing to donate their time to support those in need can register their interest online at www.emergency.volunteer.org.au, which currently supports similar programs in Western Australia and Victoria.
The kinds of help volunteers can be expected to provide include welfare checks on vulnerable individuals, urgent household maintenance, delivering supplies, dropping off medications or groceries, and offering essential transportation. Anyone can apply to be a volunteer, provided they are symptom-free and not currently ordered to remain at home. Volunteers able to speak languages other than English are especially in demand.