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Recognising our carers

Carers make an enormous contribution to our communities, and their efforts will be celebrated during National Carers Week, from October 10 to 16, 2021.

National Carers Week recognises the 2.65 million+ Australians who identify as being a carer, providing care and support to a family member, loved one or friend who may be living with disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or drug issue, or frail aged.

They often do this in an unpaid capacity, generally without considering how it will affect their own lives.

A Carer’s responsibilities can be quite complex and performed over a sustained period. Many people accept a transitional carer role, which can be limited in time but still has complex demands.

At Intereach, more than a quarter of its staff identify as a carer. The community service provider has initiated a Carer’s Reference Group to support its staff who identify as carers year-round. The group gets together to share ideas, resources, provide support, and raise awareness of carers.

This year during Carers Week, the Carer’s Reference Group will also be involved in distributing information and resources about the role of carers to all staff, and special activities will be hosted in Intereach offices. However, these have been limited by COVID-19 restrictions, with many Intereach staff still working from home.

National Carers Week is an opportunity to show appreciation for the work of all carers and has been celebrated since 1992. It is about recognising carers and providing the opportunity to pause and say, “thank you”.

Intereach has more than 460 staff, working across its 17 offices, located in the Riverina- Murray region of NSW and north and central Victoria. The organisation supports children and families, people living with disability, mental health, and older people. If you, or someone you know, needs support you can contact the team at Intereach on the toll-free number 1300 488 226, or go to www.intereach.com.au.

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Intereach AGM 

It has been a year of adaptive service delivery for Intereach, yet one in which the challenges have been confronted with determination and enthusiasm. 

The year’s efforts will be recognised when our organisation hosts its 2021 annual general meeting on Thursday, October 28, starting at 12.30pm. 

 The AGM will be held at Intereach’s Deniliquin headquarters, and interested attendees are advised they will need to register and follow the COVID-safe regulations in place. There will also be the opportunity to take part via video technology, if you’re unable to be there in person. 

 Chair Rob Brown said the annual meeting would be held at a time of transition for Intereach. 

 “I have only been in the chair’s position for a short time, after Pat Fogarty decided to step down from this role. Pat has left an indelible mark on our organisation and I am delighted that she is continuing to bring her vast experience in community service to the board,” Mr Brown said. 

 If you would like to attend the AGM – either in person or virtually – you need to register by contacting Nicole Tonta at nicolet@intereach.com.au or phone the Intereach toll free number on 1300 488 226 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Intereach reopening in a COVID-safe way

Community service provider Intereach is continuing an adaptive approach to its operations in a changing COVID-19 world.

CEO Rick Lawford said many of the Intereach offices have reopened, though there are still restrictions to ensure the health and safety of all staff and participants remains protected.

“We will continue to operate in an era of changing circumstances across our 17 office locations depending on each town’s present lockdown status. However, it is not yet ‘business as usual’ and we still have staff working from home,” Mr Lawford said.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions across most of regional Victoria and the Murrumbidgee area of NSW, most Intereach offices have reopened to the public with the exception of Albury.

However, Mr Lawford said anyone attending an Intereach office needs to be aware of some changes which are in place under its COVID-safe plan.

“When you arrive at one of our offices you need to ring the doorbell and will be required to sign in using the QR codes provided or seek assistance if necessary. Wearing a face mask in our offices is mandatory, unless you have a legal or medical exemption,” he said.

Mr Lawford said Intereach encourages participants to continue using phone or video technology appointments where possible.

“Face to face meetings will be the exception at this stage and should be pre-arranged with staff,” he said.

He added no one should attempt to enter any Intereach building if you are:

  • Feeling unwell or have any cold/flu symptoms;
  • Are not wearing a face mask (unless you have a legally exempt reason);

Or in the past 14 days you have:

  • Tested positive or are awaiting results for COVID-19;
  • Been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19; or
  • Travelled to or been in contact with anyone who has travelled to an identified COVID-19 hotspot.

“We encourage everyone to get their vaccinations so we can all work towards the adjustments that will be required as we learn to live with COVID. I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in helping to keep our communities safe,” Mr Lawford said.

Intereach offices are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and are located across the Riverina/Murray regions of NSW, northern/central Victoria and the Mallee. Intereach supports children and families, older people, people living with disability, mental health and carers. If you, or someone you know, needs support you can contact the toll-free number 1300 488 226, or go to www.intereach.com.au.

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Check with your mates

During the difficulties being faced in isolation in the present COVID-19 environment, there has probably never been a more important time to recognise the messages being promoted on RUOK? Day (today – September 9).

We’re encouraging team members and the wider community to take this opportunity to create awareness and encourage each other to ‘check with your mates’, which is part of the RUOK? Day message.

Our staff have produced a video, which has been circulated to highlight that ‘a conversation could change a life’, and asks ‘what does RUOK? Day mean to you?’

It is a time to ask: Do you know how the people in your world are really going? As close as we might be, sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Life’s ups and downs happen to all of us, so chances are someone you know might be struggling. RUOK? Day – and at other times – you should take a moment and ask them how are they really going. This could be during a coffee break, while driving, over a text or while exercising together.

Take the time to check in with family and friends and create a space to say ‘it’s okay to not be okay’, and to see how they are really going.

And if you are having a bad day, reach out to friends, family or a colleague … whoever you trust the most, and you will find that most people are very supportive and they may even be feeling the same as you are. Remember: It’s not weak to speak.

You don’t need to be an expert to keep the conversation going when someone says they are not okay. For some helpful tips, visit the RUOK? Day website.

By knowing what to say you can help someone feel supported and access appropriate help long before they are in crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.

Intereach encourages everyone to create awareness. On RUOK? Day it will host a virtual check-in and an opportunity for staff to enjoy a cuppa together, even if it’s not presently from the office environment.

For more information and valuable resources, visit www.ruok.org.au.

If you or someone you know are having mental health issues or thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help by getting in touch with any of the following help services:

Lifeline – phone 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – phone 1300 244 636

Suicide Call Back Service – phone 1300 659 467

 

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