In this time of heightened uncertainty the Imagined Futures (IF) team is concentrating on how we can continue to deliver our projects in a safe way. We’re also looking for opportunities for IF members to collaborate to maximise our support for people across the SW Metro region.
The Leadership Group is meeting every two weeks to enable them to be as responsive as possible in this fast changing environment. Points from the discussions include:
- All agencies have adopted a range of methods to ensure continuity of access to services for clients.
- Many of these initiatives involve moving services online where possible, and/or telephoning clients.
- Where physical service delivery is required, a range of measures have been employed to ensure physical distancing recommendations are met.
- In some instances neither of the previous two approaches are appropriate and so services have been suspended while new models are developed.
- Many agencies are putting in place systems to strategically and safely deploy large numbers of volunteers and/or redeploy staff who are not able to perform their usual functions.
- At this stage demand for services is hard to predict. For example, agencies have not noticed an increase in demand for Emergency Relief but the traffic to the online directory ERconnect has doubled in the last month.
- One of the pressing challenges is connecting with people in need and ensuring they are aware of services that are available to them. A recurring concern is for people who do not have access to the Internet.
Members agreed that the magnitude of the challenges presented by COVID-19 makes the Imagined Futures partnership more important now than ever.
Youth Initiative Working Group
Whilst on-campus programs are on hold, we have been working hard to support kids at home. We’re also working with schools on other ways to support the young people who access our programs.
At the end of last term Leah teamed up with Lakeland Senior High School to produce a hardcopy “At home workbook” as a take home resource to support students. The resource is freely available — please contact Leah at Lsumich@stpats.com.au if you would like one.
We are also using this time to compile a grants register to stay aware of available funding and application deadlines to help us be prepared for any potential new projects.
Simone Ryan announced in February that she is stepping down as Chair of the working group. Simone has been at the helm for four years. It is hard to overstate her contribution in terms of leading the group as well as her role in delivering the Keeping Kids Engaged Project. We are currently looking for a replacement. Please contact me if you are interested in the role.
Our next working group meeting is scheduled for the 15th of May and will be held via Zoom. We are conscious that it is quite some time since the last meeting. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Leah earlier if you have insight into emerging issues or ideas for collaboration to support young people at this time.
Davis Park Working Group
Physical distancing is challenging when your job is to connect with people! As such, Jill’s focus over the last couple of weeks has been ensuring that there are as many lines of communication between her and the Davis Park residents as possible. This has included:
- Sending an introduction letter to all residents, letting them know that she is there to help and to contact her through email or phone.
- Trialling a closed Facebook group as a digital noticeboard.
- Department of Communities housing officers will remind residents of our services when making contact.
We also used this opportunity to promote the City of Fremantle’s Neighbour to Neighbour program and the ERConnect online directory.
Unfortunately we have had to postpone our long awaited planning day. We’re still keen to go ahead with a planning session albeit in a physically distant way. Jill is working to secure the views of as many residents as she can and will also be contacting each of the working group members to gather their thoughts on the best way forward. We will then convene an online meeting to finalise our priorities.
Our next meeting is scheduled for the 5th of May via Zoom.