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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:32am

A group of men and women in orange jackets spaced through a car park some standing next to cars, listening to a woman with back to camera giving instructions

The Selwyn Civil Defence team has been working to contact and help thousands of residents during the Level 4 Alert period.

The Council-led team has been at work since 24 March, when an emergency operations centre was established providing Selwyn-based support to people through welfare assistance, information and helping keep people safe.

Staff have been operating an urgent welfare helpline, delivering food parcels, looking after people in Selwyn campgrounds and coordinating supply to foodbanks. The team has also been supporting the Ministry of Social Development, calling 1500 Cantabrians who are over 70, living alone and do not have access to the internet to check on them, Council Civil Defence Manager Al Lawn says.
“Staff have been amazing, they have called people up and helped them know that someone cares.”

The effort on the ground has been led by 33 Community Response Teams. Around 180 volunteers based across Selwyn who have been organising efforts to keep people connected and safe in their communities. The team also filled in delivering Meals on Wheels for the Red Cross and delivered leaflets with key information and contact details to access support to over 2000 to people who are elderly or isolated across the district.
“They’re locals, who know locals and find local solutions to support each other using the links they already have and they’ve been fantastic.”