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Service statement: COVID-19

Posted on 17th Mar 2020

Need help? COVID-19 Support Services

 

Update: 12 May 2020

A message from the CEO and team:

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has been affecting our community, and indeed the world, for quite some time now. But our Youth Solutions team remains as committed as ever to supporting our community, particularly through this challenging time. We are fluidly adapting our supports to meet the changing needs of our young people and community, while also continuing to adjust how we deliver our services in order to protect the health and safety of our service users, stakeholders and broader community.

Over the past month, as we continue to adapt our services, a few highlights stand out. We have:

  • Teamed up with Western Sydney University to pilot online delivery of some of our health education programs.
  • Run our first online sessions of our DAIR health education program (Drug and Alcohol Information and Resilience Skills).
  • Commenced online delivery of our AOD Link, sector training, program.
  • Launched a new COVID-19 Resources and Self-Care Guides page (as well as maintaining updates to our COVID-19 Support Services page).
  • Added a chat option, via Facebook Messenger, to our website, to assist us in providing referral support online.
  • Launched a new Teacher’s Lounge section on our website, to give local teachers access to succinct information and resources to support their students.
  • Forged ahead with our #whyichoose campaign, entirely online.
  • Interviewed a number of young people remotely for our two research projects.

This month we have also made the difficult decision to postpone our Youth Solutions Charity Golf Day and Ladies Movie Night until early 2021. We know that this is the best decision in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our event supporters, as well as the broader community. We look forward to revealing more details of these 2021 events to you really soon; and what a celebration these events will be!

We remain very proud of our community for the way in which it has adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 and has prioritised health and safety, while still demonstrating the support and community spirit for which Macarthur and Wingecarribee are renowned for.

We’d like to particularly thank our committed Board, Fundraising Committee, Youth Advisory Group and other volunteers for their ongoing support, hard work and flexibility at this time.

Special thanks must also be given to our great supporters – our charity and events sponsors; project funders; financial and event prize donors; event attendees; those who work with us on our programs; the people who share our message with their contacts and our share our passion for preventing drug and alcohol related harm to our young people; the people who follow us on social media and all the people who have and continue to back Youth Solutions in various, incredible ways. Why not check out and support our sponsors? (And be sure to click on our event links to see details of our event sponsors and donors!)

But perhaps most importantly, we’d like to thank the young people and stakeholders that we work with in the delivery of our programs. It’s a tough time for many of you, but we hope you take comfort in knowing that we are still here and together we can get through this. There is always support available.

So, remember to keep supporting one another and to reach out (to us or to any community service) if you need some support during this time. We are in this together.

 – Geraldine Dean, CEO, and the Youth Solutions team

Update: 25 March 2020

A message from the CEO and team:

In these uncertain times, Youth Solutions remains committed to putting in place the necessary measures in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in order to protect our team of employees, volunteers, and importantly young people and broader community.

We are also equally committed to working together and supporting each other during these challenging times. While the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on the usual way we do our work, our team wishes to reassure you that we are still here and are particularly focused on working to support our community and our young people during this pandemic.

Firstly, we must acknowledge that this is a difficult time for all people in our community. While some have been more impacted than others, this health crisis and its flow-on effects have left no part of our community or country untouched.

Our team has worked to put together a web page detailing some of the support services available for those who are particularly struggling or in need of help and support. We hope this may help you to navigate some of the information and links to various support services available.

COVID-19 Support Services: youthsolutions.com.au/get-help/covid-19-support-services/.

Further to the measures detailed in our statement last week (see below) Youth Solutions has been scaling up its response to the unfolding situation.

Some of these new measures are further detailed below:

  • Providing support for all Youth Solutions staff who are working from home. We may not be enjoying face-to-face meetings in the office, but we continue to collaborate as a team and work with the focused intention and commitment that we are known for. In order to do our bit to keep the community safe and reduce risk of further spread of COVID-19 we ask you to please refrain from visiting our office and instead contact the team via phone or online. (General phone: 02 4628 2319. General email: info@youthsolutions.com.au)
  • Our face-to-face service delivery and programs have been postponed for now but in many instances, our staff are working to provide services online and using other distance methods. For example: changing our methods of collection for our research project interviews, hosting our meetings and trainings online and providing information and support to young people and others in the community via online methods.
  • Planning for our Youth Solutions Ladies Movie Night charity fundraiser, scheduled for 11 May 2020, has been put on hold, in line with current cinema closures. We will look to postpone this event until a later date, if possible.
  • To protect our volunteers, we have halted all in-office volunteer support. Meetings of our Board, youth and fundraising volunteers are being moved online where possible. We thank our volunteers for their flexibility, support and understanding during these times.

We are maintaining our flexibility and regularly re-assessing and amending our operations in line with the changing guidelines and circumstances.

It is important, during these times, that we continue to support one another (safely, with social distancing in place). With this in mind, where possible and if able, we encourage you to support the local businesses and organisations in our community, particularly those who support Youth Solutions and other charities in this regions. Check out our sponsors here.

Our team also hopes to remind you that these challenges will not last forever and we look forward to celebrating and catching up with our young people and supporters, face-to-face, on the other side of this pandemic.

In the meantime, we encourage to you to please continue to reach out to us as we continue working hard to support our community and deliver our services.

Update: 17 March 2020

In line with the impact of COVID-19 and emerging guidelines from government and health authorities, Youth Solutions is continually reviewing and assessing its operations to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff, volunteers, stakeholders, service users and the broader community.

We are committed to implementing the appropriate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to ultimately protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Our Service currently remains open, as we regularly re-assess our operations in line with these changing guidelines and circumstances.

Like many other charities and community services, Youth Solutions is enacting its Business Continuity Plan, alongside rigorous risk management processes, to implement a range of measures to keep our Service, its people and the wider community safe.

Some of these measures have included:

  • working with our stakeholders to cancel or postpone unnecessary participation in community events, networking and other meetings
  • working with our stakeholders to postpone or cancel some of our workshops and programs and/or to put appropriate safety measures in place for those deemed safe to proceed
  • postponing our 2020 Charity Golf Day to a later date (further statement on this event here: https://youthsolutions.com.au/get-involved/fundraise/charity-golf-day-2020/)
  • where possible, utilising innovative IT and communication strategies to enable our staff to communicate and work with external services and individuals without face-to-face interaction
  • monitoring conditions and committing to a flexible approach to ensure Youth Solutions can adapt its operations in line with changing recommendations and circumstances
  • continuing to implement strict hygiene procedures and NSW Health guidelines to protect against infection (further details: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx#sec2)
  • reporting and providing regular updates to our funding bodies and supporters regarding the limitations and impact on our Charity’s service delivery

Youth Solutions will issue further statements or updates about changes to operations, as necessary.

Our charity also understands that it is a difficult time for many people in our community. If you or someone you know is struggling and needs someone to talk to, there are a range of 24-hour telephone counselling services available:

For more information specifically about the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the dedicated NSW Health page: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx or phone the National Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080.

Youth Solutions is a health promotion and youth drug and alcohol prevention charity. For more information about Youth Solutions, or for drug and alcohol education, information, referral, or the current activities of Youth Solutions: (p) 4628 2319, (e) info@youthsolutions.com.au (w) www.youthsolutions.com.au.

Media contact: Amanda Dillon, Community Relations and Communications Coordinator, 4628 2319, amanda@youthsolutions.com.au.

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