Content: AFSG and Covid-19 – Senior services – Community worker – Youth activities – Coping strategies for mental health – Stay in touch


In these exceptional times, like everyone else, we share your worry and concern for each other. We are following advice to keep safe, but we are continuing to provide support where we can.

  • The office in the Old School Building and the Community Worker office in Claris have been closed and all staff are working from home.
  • The phone lines are diverted and will be monitored daily if you leave a message. Please call during working hours only, unless it is an emergency.
  • Our youth and senior social activities have been suspended.
  • The caregiving programme continues, as an essential service, but with heightened hygiene and physical distancing protocols in place.
  • The community worker will be available by phone or messaging.
  • Counselling support also remains in place.
  • We are ready to respond to any needs that arise with the resources and capacity we have available.
  • We are part of the island’s Emergency Response Team to contribute to supporting our vulnerable residents.

    Keep calm, stay safe and be kind. Life will go on, just a little bit different.

Senior Services

I will be working from home at all times. You will be able to reach me on phone during working hours.

Our wonderful care givers will continue to visit their clients while they and their clients are symptom free.

Please if you need anything to help make this crazy time easier don’t hesitate to call me and we will help wherever possible.

There will be a few elderly who will feel isolated, so let’s look out for each other be kind and stay safe.

Sue Eves, Senior Services Coordinator — 027 398 8897—09 4290812

Community Worker

Rest assured that support will continue as usual. Emergency grants and crisis assistance is available. But my office at the health centre will be closed and I will not be available for face-to-face meetings.

You can contact me via cell phone, text, email, or leave a voicemail. Don’t leave it too late, because organising assistance may take longer.

Kellie Cleave, Community Worker — 021 1280267 — 09 4290 386 kellie.cleave

Youth Activities

All group activities are discontinued but Keri will stay in touch and be sending out resources to help keep children active at home.

Keri Lyon — 021 1050912 — keri.lyon

Coping strategies for mental health

To look after yourself and your mental health, Cait Devey recommends that you keep active. Do physical activities like gardening or meditation. But slow down and concentrate on your breathing.

What is important is to remember to look after yourself — give yourself some self-compassion — and simply be kind to yourself and everyone else.

This is the time to take up hobbies. Always wanted to draw or paint? What about having a go at sculpture, or any other activity you have never had time for. Write a story or make music — whatever works for you.

Or learn something, read books, watch DVDs, find stimulating programmes online. How about listening to Russel Brand podcasts. Just make sure you get to laugh.

Cait also advises to find any way to stay connected. Get on the phone, use social media or do it the old-fashioned way and write a letter. Provided you keep your distance, there is nothing wrong either with a conversation over the fence with your neighbour. St John’s church will also get regular calls organised for people alone.

If you need to talk, Cait is still available. You can text her to get a call back. Cait will be available for visits although following government recommendations, i.e. maintaining social distancing and no cuddles ☹. But experience shows that even telephone counselling can be highly effective.

If you want to sit down with a professional and, in confidence, talk through issues you are having to deal with, Cait Devey is an accredited counsellor.

Counselling for children and their families is subsidised thanks to the Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki, and the Ministry of Health.

You can contact Cait in confidence on 021 222 6410.

Stay in touch

Supporting Families on Great Barrier Island since 1988.

The Aotea Family Support Group Charitable Trust has been helping families and the community on Great Barrier Island for 3 decades, and we will be here to support you through the coming period.

Keep an eye on our website

You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, @AoteaFamilySupportGroup.

Invoices and mail:

Because of the situation you will understand that we may not access and handle mail regularly, so PLEASE use email instead to correspond with us:

Where to find out more about Covid-19?

We are all in this together

This is a time that will test all of us, individually and as a community, but we are confident that this will bring out the best in each of us.

Lisa Eves, Chair of the Aotea Family Support Group Trust
027 2567060

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