LCSA Members Discussion Forums
Due to the nature and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in ongoing changes and impacts on our communities and organisations, LCSA decided to schedule fortnightly online discussion forums with our members to help facilitate information sharing, peer support and to provide a way to raise any concerns and questions people have in dealing with the crisis.
Using the Zoom video conferencing platform, our first online discussion held on 31 March 2020, saw over 50 LCSA members from all around NSW come together and share stories about the impact COVID-19 is having in their community as well as on staff and volunteers at their Centres.
It was a broad ranging conversation outlining how Neighbourhood and Community Centres are coping and adapting with the situation in their area, along with identifying some of the many issues of concern emerging.
Some of the things discussed included:
- Clarification of Neighbourhood Centres as essential services
- Food Security
- Emergency Relief funds for Neighbourhood Centres
- Limits to emergency relief efforts due to current restrictions on purchasing
- Large charities referring to Neighbourhood Centres with commensurate payment
- Importance of service continuity plans and discussions with CPO's
- The cost of sanitised cleaning at Centres if staff or clients catch COVID-19
- Potential opportunities to share resources online
- Digital equality - as many people do not have phones or access to devices or Internet
- Clarification around redeployment and maintaining staff
- Changes to TEI Negotiations under the current conditions including KPIs and surpluses
Primarily the feedback we received from participants after the discussion suggests that getting together to share information, experiences and strategies gave reassurance and support as Neighbourhood Centre Managers put alternative arrangements in place and continue to work with the most disadvantaged in our local communities.