In this issue: Still Locked Down | We are all in this together | Essential contacts | Senior Services | Donations

Still Locked Down

We are still in level 4 until midnight 27th or April. Tuesday 28th sees us in Level 3. The message, however, is still to stay home, unless you have to go out for essential needs or approved work. The increase in movement is of concern because it will put us more at risk of contracting Covid-19. It’s more important than ever to follow strict hand washing and distancing rules. The stay home message, especially for the elderly and at risk, is more important than ever and still in force. Contact Aotea Health immediately if you have any respiratory problem for swabbing.

As accredited ‘essential social service provider’, AFSG continues to work while practicing strict social distancing:

· The office in the Old School Building and the Community Worker office in Claris remain closed and all staff are working from home.

· The phone lines are diverted and are monitored daily if you leave a message. Please call during working hours only, unless it is an emergency.

· Our youth and senior social activities remain suspended.

· The caregiving programme continues, as an essential service, but with heightened hygiene and physical distancing protocols in place.

· The community worker is available by phone or messaging.

· Counselling support also remains in place, but only by phone.

· 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 goes on – make the best of it.

We are all in this together

The last four weeks have been surreal, stressful, confusing and at times frightening. During the upcoming months, we will continue to be faced with more unusual and difficult situations that will no doubt require some unusual and different solutions.

While we have all been in Level 4 "locked down" we have had to learn new ways of doing everyday tasks. For us on the barrier this is less troublesome perhaps than for our neighbours in the city.

Most of us are already used to online grocery options. We’re used to having our patience tested by internet delays, boat cancelations and making do till our supplies arrive…a week later.

We’re mostly social animals but used to spending time happily by ourselves. We are not surrounded by 100’s of people as we go about our everyday life. Ours was already quiet.

So despite the cue at the shop, working from home and the constant phone ringing, email answering and struggling to come up with new ways to provide AFSG services, I have been more grateful than ever to be “locked down” on Great Barrier Is. Just watch the news! The people living in our cities are dealing with what seems to be a different monster than what we are.

And yet as we near the end of week 4 I find today has been hard and seriously confronting. Today I’m over the lockdown! I’m tired of disinfecting my veges and wiping down the car because I needed milk and went to the shop. I’m out of solutions and ideas of how to do my job in new ways because Covid-19 rages around the world.

I know that tomorrow I will plug back into life and it will again be good but until then I shut the computer down, turned on some loud music and later I will phone my friends and rant about the unfairness of life. We will commiserate together, and we will joke and laugh and cry a little or a lot and then laugh and talk some more until after a long chat about solving the problems of the world we’ll say good night. I know I won’t have worked out all my problems during that phone call but I will be more relaxed and feel less alone. The answers will come tomorrow or not but for now I can sit back with my dog and work on this article.

This is how I deal with my stress and anxiety. I’m sure you all have many different and effective ways of dealing with yours but what if we don’t or the usual timeouts aren’t helping what do we do? Who is around and able to help us over the mole hill that can feel like Everest during a blizzard?

Some of us could be feeling the isolation, questions and fears of Lock down and Covid-19 much harder than others but while we are confined to our homes and limited contact is advised, we are still able to reach out via the internet or with phone calls.

If you are feeling the stress and need extra support, please reach out. Be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends and loved ones. . .

I’ve added some numbers at the bottom that you might find helpful during this truly mad crazy time.

All the people at these services are trained and everything is strictly confidential.

Lisa Eves, Chair 09 4290 667 lisa.eves

Essential Contacts

Mental Health: Cait Devey

Need someone to talk to in confidence? Call or text 021 222 6410

Community Worker: Kellie Cleave

You can contact me via phone, text, email, or leave a voicemail on 386.

027 356 5567 / 09 280 8561 kellie.cleave

Youth Activities: Keri Lyon

All group activities are discontinued but Keri is staying in touch.

Keri Lyon — 021 105 0912 — keri.lyon

Health centre Medical Team

Community Mental Health Nurse and Psychiatrist: Tel 09 4290 356

More help

· Depression helpline: Free call 0800 111 757 or text 8681

· Alcohol Drug Helpline: Free call 0800 787 797 or text 8681

· Gambling Helpline: Free call 0800 654 655 or text 8006

· Lifeline: Free call 0800 543 354 or text 4357 (HELP)

But if your needs are more practical – though no less critical – please call one of us and together we will find a solution to your need. Be it food, finding a firewood provider, Home help, WINZ or Wage subsidy, Online shopping or some other need, we can help you.

Senior Services

Week 4 of lock-down, hopefully heading to the end of being on level 4 and going into level 3, but are things going to be very different when we get there?

There will still be strict health guidelines to follow, we will still need to keep our physical distance, stay home as much as possible, work from home if you can and continue with the hand washing routine that we have been doing.

For some of the elderly in our community this is still going to be a time of semi isolation and growing frustration. We may be able to extend our bubbles a little but that doesn’t mean that we can go back to our usual normal yet.

I have always known that our care workers are very special people but during this last 3 weeks I have been staggered at just how amazing they are. At the beginning of the lock down we didn’t know what to expect and prepared for the worst but all 29 of our care workers have been working during this time and have continued to go in day after day to their clients making sure that their needs have been met. I am so very proud and humbled by them and it confirms just how lucky we are as a community to have such dedicated women and men working for AFSG.

We have been told that Covid-19 testing will ramp up here as well as on the mainland, even if we just have the sniffles it is being advised that we get swabbed for the virus. The big fear being that we step into level 3 and another wave hits us only to have to go back into lock down.

So, continue to be careful by following the health guidelines and if you have any concerns or needs AFSG are here to help.

Sue Eves, Senior Services Coordinator
Home 09 4290 812 or leave a voicemail at 09 4290 174

Want to make a donation
to the AFSG Crisis Support Fund?

Go to or contact Lisa. Thank you.

Please follow and like us: