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Minister Orr Media Release: Community recovery supported by the launch of Red Cross Wellbeing Calls

August 04, 2020

A wellbeing call service, available to all Canberrans who would like to register, was launched today. The service is a partnership between the ACT Government and Red Cross and offers connection and support to Canberrans to help them maintain their wellbeing through regular conversation. It also provides locals with information about relevant activities and services available.

Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Suzanne Orr MLA and the Australian Red Cross  today launched the Wellbeing Call Service to help support Canberrans maintain their wellbeing especially during COVID-19.

The calls are being conducted by Canberra based Red Cross volunteers from the ACT Emergency Services and Social Support teams and can also be conducted in various languages. All volunteers are trained and experienced in supporting vulnerable people.

Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Suzanne Orr MLA said that having someone to talk to can make a big difference for people who are lonely or isolating.

“The aim of the calls is to help people feel safe, calm, connected to others and able to access the services and supports they need.”

“Through this program, registered residents will be connected with a friendly Red Cross volunteer who can call them as required to check-in and see how they are doing.”

“I am pleased that we are able to offer this service during such a difficult time, when it is so important for everyone to feel connected. The Wellbeing Calls Service has been really beneficial in the past especially for those residents living in rural areas - sometimes these calls may be the only contact some residents have in the whole day.” Minister Orr said.

Australian Red Cross Director for ACT Poppy Brown said the Red Cross welcomes the support given by the ACT government to help roll out the program to thousands of people across the Territory.

"We know that social isolation can lead to increased stress levels, and that’s why the support offered by our experienced Red Cross volunteers will bring help and links to essential services for vulnerable people at this difficult time.

“Red Cross has been responding to emergencies for 106 years and COVID-19 is no different. We’re here for the people that need us most. This service will bring comfort to so many people.”

Canberrans wanting to register for this service can call 6234 7630 between 8am and 4pm daily or register for a call online from: https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/connect-in-canberra/Community-Services-and-Support

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