A Townsville-based community organisation is helping to extend the reach of Queensland’s Care Army across the state’s north by coordinating local volunteers to provide much-needed support to seniors through the pandemic.
Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke visited Youth with a Mission (YWAM) today to see first-hand the role they are playing in rolling out the Care Army in Townsville.
“This organisation has a proud history helping North Queensland communities when times get tough,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Following last year’s monsoonal trough and flooding, YWAM worked closely with the local council and other community groups to mobilise volunteers.
“They took on a vital coordination and leadership role in 2019, and I’m delighted they will be doing so again during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The Care Army was announced on April 1 by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, as a way to look out for those most at risk from COVID-19.
Mrs O’Rourke said the Care Army’s main aim was to help seniors stay home and stay safe.
“We know that people who are aged over 70, 65 years and older with a chronic health condition or over 50 if they’re of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent are particularly at risk of serious complications from this virus,” she said.
“The Care Army plays a crucial role in making sure older Queenslanders have enough food, access to all their medication needs, and are able to stay socially connected while isolating in their homes.
“We are thrilled that thousands of Queenslanders have already registered to volunteer in the Care Army – including 540 in the Townsville local government area (as of April 23).
“As a Townsville local, I am especially pleased to watch the Care Army take big steps forward towards helping North Queensland communities.”
Mrs O’Rourke said YWAM would play a key role in coordinating the Care Army in Townsville, working with local community groups to pinpoint the greatest need for volunteers.
“The volunteers will then either work directly with YWAM or be assigned to partner agencies such as Lifeline, homelessness services and community centres to assist with their existing outreach services,” she said.
“YWAM will also connect vulnerable Queenslanders to the volunteers and community groups that can deliver the requested support.
“We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for many Queenslanders, and the Care Army is here to help.”
Volunteering Queensland is playing a key role state-wide to process Care Army registrations and match volunteers with a wide range of non-government organisations (NGOs).
For more information, visit: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/carearmy
Press release supplied by Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.