Staying connected in uncertain times

NGAIRE JONES |

The COVID-19 lockdown means that people are physically isolated at a level never seen before in New Zealand. St John wants to let people know that it is well positioned to help reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation at home with its free Caring Caller service, connecting people who need a friend with people who have time to listen and chat on the phone.

The goal of the COVID-19 lockdown is to limit the spread of the virus but not to limit your community connection. While we may not be able to visit each other and meet face to face, we need to be able to support each other and stay in touch.

St John Director of Community Health Services Sarah Manley says St John has moved to extend the free Caring Caller service in order to provide support to people who might be feeling a bit lonely during lockdown, or just need to check in with someone.

“Due to COVID-19 we have had to suspend some of our Community Programmes such as Friends of the Emergency Department, Community Carers and Pet Therapy, and many of these valuable volunteers have put their hands up to take on Caring Caller roles.”

“Our volunteers in these programmes are highly skilled in connecting with others and offering support and empathy, skills that transfer easily into the Caring Caller role. It is absolutely vital that we come together at this time to help and care for each other.”

The Caring Caller service is fully funded by donations and is not a helpline, rather it’s a phone friendship service. “A good conversation can really brighten up the day.”

Ms Manley says St John wants people who would like to receive Calling Caller phone calls, either for themselves or their loved ones, to register with St John.

“New Zealand finds itself in an unprecedented situation and St John will continue to provide communities with the support they need during this time.”

If you would like to register for you or someone you know to receive a regular call, visit St John Caring Caller  or phone 0800 000 606.

-ENDS-


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ngaire Jones
St John Communications Advisor
M 021 0549135
E ngaire.jones@stjohn.org.nz

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