Keeping Seniors Safe
Newcastle Meals on Wheels response to COVID-19 is rapidly changing in line with Department of Health and National Guidelines. Our overall goal is to ensure our service is provided to all those in need whilst reducing the potential spread of coronavirus.
As our clientele is recognised as vulnerable – across our organisation we have taken vital steps and precautions including the following (April 2021 update):
- All staff have completed COVID-19 Infection control training through Department of Health, and each location has been recognised as a COVID-SAFE location
- Masks wearing is now optional by volunteers and staff to avoid transmission (mandatory when social distancing cannot occur), and increase use of hand sanitizing gel in-between each home they visit.
- Branches remain close to general public, and branches capped with max of 8 people inside at any one time
- Social distancing adhered to inside branches
- Centre-based social support program cancelled. Small Groups and Individual social support programs including Hav a Chat running to combat social isolation.
- In-house assessments by our Engagement Team will return to face to face for new clients, yearly reviews will be conducted over the phone.
- Volunteers delivering meals to client’s door can now return to entering client’s homes (adhering to social distancing)
- Encouragement to pay invoices via bank transfer to minimise cash exchange.
- Increase output of Nuovo frozen lines via introduction of volunteers at our Catering Facility at Tighes Hill; in order to increase stock to meet increase demand from external services across the region.
- Welcome additional volunteers into our workforce, to reduce cross over at branches, and to also allow our elderly volunteer workforce to step back if they choose.
In return we ask each one of our clients, staff and volunteers to be on the look out for any symptoms and immediately notify their coordinator, if you are unwell, have recently visited a hot spot, or have had contact with someone who has visited a hot spot. If you are a client we will make extra arrangements to ensure that you will still receive your meal delivery – whilst keeping our volunteers safe and well.
If you have any concerns or require some advice during this pandemic, you can contact the 24-hour National Coronavirus Health Line on 1800 020 080 or visit the Department of Health Website for the latest updates.