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New Carer Gateway from April 6

In recognition of the need to support and sustain the vital work of unpaid carers, the Australian Government is investing in the rollout of a range of new early intervention services for Australia’s carers as part of the Integrated Carer Support Service.

These services include free telephone counselling, online self-guided Carer Coaching modules, an online peer support Community Forum, Carer Skills Courses, and information for carers about topics such as planning for an emergency, carer payments, and legal matters.

From 6th April 2020, carers will be asked to access all new supports which will include in-person counselling, peer support and emergency respite through the Carer Gateway by visiting www.carergateway.gov.au. Carers can also access service and supports from the Carer Gateway Contact Centre on 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time. This will replace the current services provided by Intereach Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (CRCC)

New providers of these Care Gateway services will be

  • Live Better for NSW3, which is the current Riverina Murray Region excluding Albury which will now be included in (Vic2).
  • Merri Health/Uniting for Vic Tas will be the new provider for (Vic2).

Intereach has been providing CRCC support to Carers across the entire Riverina Murray Region for 22 years and the program was an integral part of the organisation’s expansion east to Albury and Wagga

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Intereach – ready to help in this time of need

There has rarely been a time of greater need to support the most vulnerable in our community.

As such, community service provider Intereach is ensuring it remains operational and ready to help.

Intereach provides a vast range of community services across areas including children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers.

CEO Keryn Fox said the manner in which most services are being provided has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but communities need to be aware Intereach is still operating and available to provide assistance wherever required.

“Our purpose, which has been clearly articulated in the past, is to strengthen and improve social and personal well-being for individuals, families and communities. This is achieved by facilitating a vast range of programs for the various communities we serve.

“Throughout the challenges of the pandemic, and during the long recovery process, many people will need our assistance.

“I want to ensure all our communities that we are ready and willing to help, as required.”

Intereach operates from 16 offices across the Riverina and Murray regions of NSW, north and central Victoria and the Mallee.

“Each of our communities is special, with its own team to provide the local services we offer.

“At present we have unfortunately had to close all our offices to the public, but we still have nearly 400 team members across our footprint who can deliver our services.

“We have many team members working from home. We are encouraging phone meetings to be undertaken with our participants/clients whenever possible. This includes our NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator services, with most participant meetings to be conducted over the phone.

“We take great pride in the way in which our team members care for their local people and needs, and in this respect nothing has changed,” Ms Fox said.

Anyone who requires support or advice in relation to the many Intereach community service programs is asked to phone 1300 488 226. Team members will continue to be available during office hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

“We recognise that some programs such as Community Transport, Community Support and Children’s Services have unique needs and considerations. The executive will work closely with these programs to ensure reasonable and appropriate action is being taken,” Ms Fox said.

“At this time I would encourage our clients and participants to stay in touch – keep phoning our team members and working with us, as we meet the challenges we are facing.”

 

 

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Offices closed due to COVID-19 precaution

Most Intereach offices are closed to the public from today (March 24) as the organisation continues taking proactive steps to help prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection to its staff, participants, volunteers and communities.

The only exception is the Intereach Corowa office, which will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, offering Centrelink services only.

All Intereach offices are still available via telephone on 1300 488 226 during office hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said the organisation made the decision to close these offices in the best interests of their staff and communities, and in line with advice provided by government and health department officials.

“We will still be available via telephone, we’re simply reducing the amount of face-to-face contact we have with people, which is part of the wider community response to this pandemic.

“At this stage all of our offices except Corowa will be closed to the public until the end of April, however this direction is somewhat fluid and may be adjusted according to the advice we’re receiving.

“We’re encouraging phone meetings be undertaken with our participants/clients whenever possible. Face-to-face meetings can only proceed in circumstances where phone servicing is not an option.”

Ms Fox said Intereach had implemented the following:

  • Offices closed to the public until the end of April (except Corowa office).
  • Staff are encouraged to work from home where possible.
  • Most participant meetings will be conducted over the phone with the NDIS Local Area Coordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention Coordinator.
  • Intereach recognises that some programs such as Community Transport, Community Support and Children’s Services have unique needs and considerations. The executive will work closely with these programs to ensure reasonable and appropriate action is being taken.
  • The Intereach strategy is aimed at reducing staff numbers in its 16 offices at any one point in time, but is not an exclusion strategy.

Ms Fox said an action plan for self-isolation has been prepared, however it too is somewhat fluid and will be adjusted according to the advice provided by government and health officials.

Intereach has also advised staff that all non-essential travel must be cancelled.

Ms Fox said Intereach, as a major community service provider, was acutely aware of the need to be proactive during these difficult times.

“We realise this isn’t ideal (closing our offices) but I’d still encourage our clients/participants and communities to stay in contact with us. The doors are shut but the phones are on and we’re still here to help.”

Anyone showing symptoms of Coronavirus – such as coughing, fever, flu-like symptoms – should call the Central Patient COVID-19 Triage Hotline on 1800 020 080.

Anyone with queries about our COVID-19 response, or any other Intereach matter, can phone 1300 488 226.

 

 

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Intereach opens new Gisborne office

The new Gisborne office for community service provider, Intereach, opened on Wednesday, March 18.

It will provide a boost to the services provided across the Macedon Ranges region by Intereach.

The modern, spacious office is located at Office 5, Level 1, Nexus Centre (via Prince St entrance). It has the capacity to house up to 30 staff members and as such will cater to the expansion of Intereach in the region. Staff from the organisation’s former Kyneton office have been relocated to Gisborne.

Intereach CEO Keryn Fox said a vast range of community services will be provided from the new office.

There will be ‘Community Linkers’, who are staff specifically trained to ‘link’ local people to the appropriate services and supports that are available.

From its new Gisborne office Intereach will also offer National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services.

Participant meetings are being scheduled at the new office from March 18.

Intereach now has 16 office locations, spread across central and northern Victoria, the Mallee and across the Riverina region of NSW.

Ms Fox described the new office opening as “another exciting step in the Intereach journey”.

The organisation started with one employee in Deniliquin and now has a staff of nearly 400 spread across a large footprint.

 “We are proud to be expanding our operations in the Macedon Ranges, where we will have the capacity to build a bigger team to service the region,” Ms Fox said.

Anyone with queries about the new Intereach Gisborne office can call into the office in the Nexus Centre (via Prince St entrance), phone 1300 488 226 or go to www.intereach.com.au

Intereach support and assistance is offered across community services, children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers.

 

Intereach Gisborne staff members enjoying the view from their new office at the Nexus Centre

 

 

 

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