While Covid-19 Alert Level 4 has provided either a chance to spend more time connecting with family or friends in a lockdown bubble, or much-needed alone time, for some it has been a time of loneliness and disconnection from the community. However a friendly new phone calling service is reaching out.
Mangawhai’s hard-working social advocacy organisation, Te Whai Community Trust, implemented a new Sage Call Service on March 23, which has seen a growing popularity, projects manager Kiri Eriwata says.
“The service has been growing steadily and as of today, we have 23 sage callers and 17 sage call clients,” she says. “We’ve had an amazing response from our new sage caller volunteers and we’d like to thank them all dearly for joining Te Whai.”
To develop the programme, Te Whai collaborated with and received support from St John Mangawhai, Caring Caller, and Civil Defence to set the protocol for the sage volunteers and develop the best practice for the safety of both clients and volunteers.
The benefits of the service not only provide a friendly chat to those experiencing loneliness and isolation, but is also a means for sage callers to refer people to a wider range of available support. Te Whai has also been engaging local counsellors who are willingly giving their time to counsel community members during isolation.
“We also have Te Ha Oranga offering to pick up and deliver prescriptions from Wellsford, and many other organisations are working alongside Te Whai to make sure community members are able to access services online and over the phone,” Eriwata says. “And, as Te Whai is an essential service, we are still able to provide urgent Aroha Baskets, our food parcels, for those in need in this unprecedented time.”
§ For more information on any of Te Whai’s services, please visit tewhaicommunitytrust.co.nz or make contact via email email@example.com or phone 021 0247 8003.