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We're thinking about you | Our Pandemic Plan | Staying connected

27 March 2020

We're thinking about you

Hi everyone,

While we’ve been working hard to connect with our clients and ensure their wellbeing, I know there are Red Cross people out there who are also struggling. This is a very strange time to be living, every one of us is being asked to significantly change the way we live and that is putting a real strain on many.

While I encourage anyone who is feeling fragile at this time to use formal channels to get support such as free counselling or reaching out to your manager for support, I also encourage each of you to reach out to people in your Red Cross network to check on them. Think of five people in your Red Cross network who may be doing it tough and take the time to reach out to them. Send a ‘Red Card’ or just touch base with someone you think might be struggling or facing a particularly difficult time. We need to get through this together.

Look out for the randomised coffee trials that the International Humanitarian Law team will be organising. It’s a virtual coffee date where you can get to know someone from a different team, or across the country and have a friendly chat about anything. It’s a good way to form new bonds and keep the social connection going even when we are distances apart.

Our Pandemic Plan

I sent out an update about our Pandemic Plan earlier this week outlining the key changes the announcements of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 from federal and state and territory governments will have on our services.  

We want to support communities to strengthen their capacity to cope and to minimise the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19.

We will achieve this through:

  • Delivering – Direct services to meet the immediate psychosocial needs of the most vulnerable community groups.
  • Connecting - Coordinating services and collaborating with others to meet people’s psychosocial needs.
  • Mobilising - Communities are initiating and taking action to cope with and recover from the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19.
  • Influencing - Applying our understanding of the humanitarian needs within communities to ensure government policies and budgets are used to minimise the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19.

We are expanding our humanitarian support to people in Australia. We are providing psychosocial support via telephone outreach to people required to self-isolate and to people impacted by the summer’s bushfires. In some locations we are also providing emergency food relief packages. This is likely to expand rapidly over the next few days. You can read a summary of the plan here and the full version here. We will be keeping a close watch as the situation changes and adapt them accordingly.

Staying connected whilst working from home

While most of us are working from home and practising social distancing, it’s important to remain connected. Our Culture and Talent team along with IT are rolling out daily training sessions on how to get the most out of working remotely and managing virtual teams. 

If you have children, remember to be flexible while managing working from home and your household. Talk to your manager if you need to take leave days or some time off to cater to your family’s needs. There are also resources on our website like how to talk to children about COVID-19 and some fun and uplifting ideas to keep kids occupied like the Australia Zoo virtual tour and other videos.

And remember to be vigilant while using our system remotely. Scammers have started taking advantage of the spread of Coronavirus including impersonating  the World Health Organization and government authorities. 

Last week we faced a concerted phishing attack on Red Cross with a number of people clicking on malicious links in emails. We stopped this attack but please take extra precautions to safeguard your passwords and understand how  identify such scams.

I know this takes some major adjusting for all of us but I want you to know that we are all in this together, and we want to make sure Red Cross people are managing well. If you feel overwhelmed, please talk to a health worker or counsellor.

That’s all for this week. Stay safe and take care.

Cheers,
Judy