Helping look after others
One of the best ways you can help others is by staying home and helping people from there.
Kindness is an incredibly powerful way to show you are united against COVID-19. You can make a huge difference by talking to people over the phone or online:
- Check in on older relatives or vulnerable people to make sure they have everything they need.
- Talk to friends, whānau and neighbours over the phone to see how they are and if they need support.
These kinds of connections and offers of help will go a long way to getting others through COVID-19.
Volunteers play an important role in supporting New Zealand. It is important to keep volunteers and those they help safe and well. It’s also important to coordinate our efforts so help reaches those who need it and no effort is wasted.
The Volunteer Centre network is taking the details of people offering to help. If you would like to volunteer, you can see what opportunities there are to help through the Volunteering New Zealand website.
Existing volunteer groups
If your group would like to help with COVID-19-related work, please contact your local civil defence or council in the first instance to ensure that your support is coordinated.
Working in the community
If you have not been advised from official sources that you are part of an essential service and have a letter that you can show to the police, then you must follow the guidelines for the Alert Level we are at.
Delivering essential supplies
COVID-19 can live on surfaces, so any objects which pass between people are potential ways for the virus to spread.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, it is important to comply with restrictions on deliveries and other community work.
Delivering supplies at Alert Level 4
Unless you are an essential worker, you should only deliver essential supplies to nearby friends, family and whānau, and close neighbours. Do this only if it is absolutely necessary.
You should only deliver to a few people and you must remain loyal to these people for the entire lockdown. The more people you deliver to, the higher the risk.
If you know someone that needs help, then let them know about the help available or enquire on their behalf if they are comfortable with you doing so. If they have an urgent need for essential goods that you can’t get or who need help and don’t have anyone who can assist them.
Be a friend on the phone
People need to feel connected with others, but during this time that connection can’t come from being physically close or chatting in person.
Could you spare 20 minutes on the phone to check in and have a conversation? A way to help is for groups to reach out to their networks and see if members can be a friend on the other end of a phone (or a video call), especially for those who are on their own, aged over 70 or vulnerable.
Anyone can start to feel lonely and most people appreciate a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. It doesn’t have to be about requesting support, it could just be to share some stories and keep in touch. By staying connected in other ways, we may not be as tempted to burst our bubbles and can keep saving lives.