Finding ways to stay connected
Feeling connected is important for wellbeing and during COVID-19, due to social distancing, many people have lost access to the groups and activities that keep them connected. From the young to the young at heart connection with friends and family provides happiness, support and a sense of security and purpose. Across the board individuals and groups have been finding ways to stay connected during this time.
Catholic Early EdCare
At Catholic Early EdCare, kindergarten children were just starting to feel connected to teachers and peers when at home learning was implemented. St Clare’s Kindergarten Teacher, Mel Kemp wanted to personally connect with each kindergarten child, so posted a handwritten letter to them.
“Suddenly, the children were no longer seeing the extended family they had come to love. We wanted to ensure each child knew they hadn’t been forgotten, how important they were to our community and that we couldn’t wait to have them back together. The response to the letters has been amazing. Both parents and children have reported feeling incredibly special their teachers took the time to write to them individually,” Mel said.
Centacare Aged Care
At Centacare group outings and community-based activities have had to be suspended. For many aged care clients for whom these group activities provide a invaluable source of connection, this was a huge loss. However, there has been a silver lining with many developing closer connections to their support workers, who are instead spending time with them one on one at home or in the community. Geoff who normally attends Centacare’s Northgate Hub has instead been going on beautiful scenic walks with his Support Worker Tony. With Geoff’s wife Leticia still working he would have otherwise been home by himself. But through these walks he is staying connected and developing a wonderful friendship with Tony.
Centacare Disability Support Services
This closure of Centacare’s group programs has also affected clients with an intellectual disability. Over the last few weeks many group programs have moved online ensuring people continue to feel engaged and connected. Running Duck, Centacare’s Inclusive Theatre Company on the Gold Coast have even taken rehearsals for their next performance online. They are gathering twice a week via Zoom to keep preparing for their big show.
Youth and Young Adult Groups
This use of online environments to maintain connection has also been adopted by many young adult faith groups. Michaela Pang from Evangelisation Brisbane explained, “Many young adult faith groups have successfully transitioned to the online environment to continue their fellowship and faith formation. One initiative that comes to mind is from Regium, the high school youth ministry at St Benedict’s Parish, Mango Hill. Each day a young person takes over the Regium Instagram, sharing how they spent their day in iso and providing ideas to others from workouts to cooking and prayer experiences.”
Many young adult faith groups have successfully transitioned to the online environment to continue their fellowship and faith formation.Michaela
Across the Archdiocese of Brisbane local communities and groups have continued to find ways to stay connected and support one another through this time of pandemic and social distancing.