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Latrobe Local News:
Council Works with Community towards COVID Recovery

You can still call Council on 1300 367 700 and receive assistance with COVID-19 related matters.

By Portal Admin - 21st December 2020 - Back to News

Latrobe City Council is helping residents and businesses recover from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council established a Helpline team during the pandemic to provide food, face masks and information to the public about supports available in a bid to ease the many pressures they were facing.

While that Helpline formally ended on 17 November, the public can still phone Council on 1300 367 700 and receive assistance with COVID-19 related matters.

For some people, the Helpline was also a sense of social connection during long periods of isolation.

"While Council is better known for looking after roads, rubbish and libraries, we also have staff dedicated to caring for the community. Their skills have come to the fore in times such as COVID," Latrobe City Council Mayor Cr Sharon Gibson said.

A major task for the team during COVID-19 was packing and distributing 9000 masks through some 30 organisations to people who asked for help. The Helpline team also provided food for vulnerable people with assistance from emergency relief providers.

"Food was dropped off at households in need where people had no other support and were in isolation for various reasons," Cr Gibson said.

Team members provided information, advice and interpretation of the restrictions, and provided the public with links to emergency relief services. Community groups were given access to training sessions that covered such topics as new ways of operating, grants available from Council and risk management.

"Members of community groups also received phone calls from the Helpline team to discuss how COVID was affecting them," Cr Gibson said.

"Council staff helped groups to apply for Councils Community Grants for projects and to service the Latrobe City community."

The Helpline team will continue to provide referrals to internal and external services such as connecting people into aged care, libraries and homeless services.

The Helpline staff received 477 inbound calls from community members and businesses between 11 May and 17 November 2020.

During the same period, the Helpline staff phoned community members to gather information about the impact of the pandemic in Latrobe City. They found many respondents were uncertain about the future in relation to their health and wellbeing, education, employment and income.

Helpline staff also rang and visited businesses that were open.

Council will undertake further survey work over the coming months to monitor and identify changes in the impact of COVID-19 on the community to assist recovery planning and community support.


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