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Special COVID-19 care packages delivered

District distributes 2000 care packages to vulnerable communities.

Woman with mask on holding a care package
SydneyConnect Image: Our care package

Sydney Local Health District has begun to distribute 2000 care packages – a sign of its commitment to looking after the most vulnerable members of its community during the latest outbreak of COVID-19.

The care packages include face masks, hand sanitiser and personal care products and a personal note from the District’s Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson.

“Your health and the health of your family and community are very important to us. We need your help to keep everyone safe,” Dr Anderson says in the note.

Dr Anderson also shares key messages about how to be COVID-safe.

“We need you to please stay home unless you really must go out for work, food, medical care or to get tested. Make sure if you do go out you put on a mask. Please follow the latest health advice. If you feel unwell, get tested. It’s free.”

The District is home to pockets of extreme disadvantage, with a large population of people who are homeless – estimated to be more than 6,000 people.

There are more than 400 boarding houses in the District, accounting for 47 per cent of the registered boarding houses in NSW.

Data shows there’s about 4,500 people living in residential aged care facilities in the District and more than 28,000 people with a disability living in the District.

The care packages have been organised by the District’s Integration and Partnerships team led by Director Lisa Parcsi.

“We’re working together to protect vulnerable residents –  including people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, the elderly, people living with a disability and those who need mental health care,” Ms Parcsi said.

“Many of them have underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. We want to show them that we care, and that we are here to support them throughout the pandemic,” she said.

The care packages – which also include donations from food rescue charity OzHarvest Australia and publisher Hachette Australia – will be distributed to key District services, partners and NGOs to provide to those who need them most.

The District’s Waterloo Healthy Living Program Manager, Shane Brown, will distribute 50 of the care packages to clients in Redfern and Waterloo.

“Delivering a care package is one way we’re able to stay connected with our clients. It’ll help to reduce loneliness and isolation. It’s a positive way to show we care about them,” he said.

Jude Page, a Service Development Manager with the District’s Heath Equity Research and Development Unit, has coordinated the packing and distribution of the care packages.

“We’re working to help vulnerable people stay safe. We want to reach out to them and to let them know that we are here for them during this challenging time,” she said.

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19