Locals back Community Disability Alliance Hunter's 'Isolated Connection' program to support most vulnerable residents during coronavirus pandemic

STILL AVAILABLE: CDAH executive officer David Belcher at Toronto. Mr Belcher said the organisation's office was closed, but staff were still working to support local people with a disability during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
STILL AVAILABLE: CDAH executive officer David Belcher at Toronto. Mr Belcher said the organisation's office was closed, but staff were still working to support local people with a disability during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Community Disability Alliance Hunter said it had been inundated with offers to help with food and to supply deliveries to people in the community with disabilities who were feeling anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic.


CDAH executive officer David Belcher said the organisation was coordinating a local community response to the challenge of supporting people with disability who were vulnerable to COVID-19 and are self-isolating.

"Our community is isolated and at a high risk," Mr Belcher, who is also a Lake Macquarie councillor, said.


"We want to support each other and be able to quickly identify who needs additional help during these uncertain times."

The project is called Isolated Connection.


It involves CDAH members contacting other members, checking in and seeing what everyone's needs are.


"But it doesn't stop there - people who have been contacted are asked to contact other people with disability in the community so the connection to the community is at a high," Mr Belcher said.


And the rest of the community was right on board, Mr Belcher added.

"The response from our community has been amazing. We have been flooded with offers and we are already coordinating food and supply deliveries and regular phone support to people who are feeling anxious and alone," he said.


"These are difficult times and we must all pull together to make sure no one is left behind. We all have a role to play and can work together to support people who need it during this period.


"Our office [in Newcastle West] is closed, but we are still here making sure our community is keeping safe and connected."


CDAH is run for, and by, people with a disability with the support of their families and allies.


The community can connect with CDAH by phoning 0490 053 454 oronline through Zoom between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Anyone who wants to chat virtually face-to-face can do so by joining the Zoom meeting, which can be accessed by going to https://zoom.us/j/407749649.


You do not need a Zoom account to join the meeting.

More details are available on CDAH's website cdah.org.au.

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