Blue Mountains Community Service Delivery Arrangements re COVID-19
Community service organisations across the Blue Mountains have contributed the following information about how they are managing to deliver services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Belong Blue Mountains 4782 1117
Here are the current changes to Belong Blue Mountains services and programs you may need to be aware of:
Staff Working from Home
We have as many Belong BM staff working from home/off site as we can support. We are still contactable and operating our services using different means remotely where appropriate
Our Neighbourhood Centres
Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre is open for drop-in 9am to 1pm, Monday – Friday at 6-10 Station Street Katoomba.
Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre is open for drop-in 9am to 1pm Fridays at 33 Hope Street Blaxland.
Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre is open for drop-in 9am to 1pm Thursdays at 9 New Street Lawson.
All sites are contactable by phone.
Food Relief Hampers
Community Information & Referrals
Disability/NDIS - Operating using phone contact, limiting home visits and plan management reviews wherever possible.
HEAL “Health Elders Active Living” Program - Clinics suspended, allied health staff operating using phone contact, limiting home visits wherever possible
Groups/Social Groups - Being held in our Teleconference and Zoom Community Rooms - please contact us for further information.
One on One Volunteer Visiting - Suspended home visits, hospital & nursing home visits by volunteers for Palliative Support, Community Visitors Scheme and Volunteer Home Visitors. Contact via phone or digital platforms
Home Modifications & Maintenance - Operating
Domestic Assistance & Home Shopping - Operating
Social & Medical Transport – Operating using taxis - vouchers available contact us
Out of School Hours Care (KOOSH) & Vacation Care - Operating and at no cost until 26 June
Facilitated Playgroups “Kookaburra” – Suspended
No Interest Loans for Essential One-Off Expenses – Operating using phone contact, we are limiting face to face contact
Please contact us for further clarification:
Katoomba 4782 1117 Mid Mountains 4759 2592 Lower Mountains 4739 1164
Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Centre 4787 7770
Hours of operation: 9.30am to12.30pm Tues to Fri
Please call 4787 7770 for local information, referrals, Community Development projects, No Interest Loans, community support, and emergency relief vouchers.
For BANC Access NDIS Supports and Plan Management, please call: 4787 5684.
For BOOSH out of school hours child care, please call: 0438 099 006.
For Cyber_Shed digital literacy tuition, please call: 0458 099 001.
Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture & Resource Centre 4782 6569
We at ACRC are all working remotely so our service delivery has changed as restrictions and health and safety procedures have become more important.
Our community office drop-in service is currently closed until further notice. ACRC doors are now closed and we are available through phone, video, text or email Monday - Thursday 9 am- 4pm and Friday from 9am to 1pm.
Transport is still available with limited capacity due to Safety Procedures needing to be implemented.
All staff will be working from home and will be contactable during normal office hours on their mobiles:
Our Elders Support Service and Family Support work with COVID-19 safe practice changes. We have made service changes due to COVID-19 to keep everyone safe:
- All Elders Lunches, Morning Teas and Outings and the Koori Playgroup are cancelled until further notice.
- We're continuing to provide Elders Support and Family Support through phone, email, video and when agreed some face to face appointments at ACRC but please be understanding of safety and hygiene routines that we will need to undertake. Please give us a call if you would like to talk.
Please give us a call if you would like to talk this over further on how we can support you currently if you need Jade to do any shopping done or any errands that still support the social distancing approach eg letters posted, medication picked up etc.
If you would just like to have a yarn give us a call.
We will be calling in daily with clients to see how everyone is going, if you have not heard from us give us a call so we can work out how best to support you through these times. If you don’t hear from us or hear that someone else is not doing so well, let us know so that we can support as best we can through these changing times.
Blue Mountains Food Services 4759 2811
As at 20 July 2020:
Services Status Summary
Blue Mountains Food Services office hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 4pm
Community Restaurants: Cancelled until further notice.
NDIS Programs: Resumed week beginning 20/7/20 but under notice as circumstances change.
Men’s Group: Resumed week beginning 20/7/20 but under notice as circumstances change.
Social Support: We are not providing an accompanied shopping service at the moment. Instead we are supporting clients by doing shopping for them and delivering to their home.
Personal Care: Continuing as normal but with increased hygiene control.
Meal Delivery: Continuing as normal with deliveries from Tuesday to Friday but with increased hygiene control.
Ben Roberts Café: is open for dine in and take away food and drinks - Tuesday to Friday 8am - 2pm, and Saturday 8:30am - 1:30pm. Order: 0434 314 254
Blue Mountains Occasional Care 0412 932 801
The Occasional Care service will be returning to the Lawson venue at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre from Wednesday 22 July.
Blue Mountains Women's Health & Resource Centre 4782 5133
We are still open with our doctors, nurses, counsellors and acupuncturists offering appointments to women including phone consultations if you prefer to stay at home and keep physical distance.
As we have had to cancel our group programs we are also working towards connecting with you through social media so give us your email.
PHYSICAL DISTANCE NOT SOLITUDE
Telephone social support is available through Blue Mountains Women’s Health and Resource Centre to maintain your social wellbeing through these unusual times, connecting friendly staff to women needing to self-isolate or missing out on social gatherings due to COVID 19
CatholicCare Services 8843 2545
CatholicCare’s Springwood Drop-In Centre is closed to the public, however we continue to provide supports over the phone.
- General counselling, financial counselling and problem gambling counselling is available by phone or video
- We are also doing weekly check-in calls for anyone who wants a weekly call/chat from a volunteer
- Our other projects and programs are being modified to comply with restrictions to continue where possible
Connect Child and Family Services 4758 9966
As at 24 Jul 2020:
Heatherbrae is open to families but will need to be booked in to ensure we keep to physical distancing guidelines. Timeslots are 9.30-12.00 and 1.00 to 3.30 Mon-Thurs, or 9.30-12.30 Fri. Saturday Dads and Kids Playgroup from 10.00-11.30. Ring on 47591462 to book in. Of course you don’t have to be here for the whole time and we understand if you need to cancel on the day. On arrival we will ask some questions re your health and may have to cancel your booking if any issues due to COVID-19 regulations.
YAWN and 0-5 year olds playgroups in Katoomba North, Katoomba and South Penrith are now operating. At this stage South Penrith and Katoomba are operating in alternate venues. Contact Jeanette on 4759 1462 to find out more details.
Starting School groups - for more information regarding starting school groups at Katoomba, Penrith, Penrith South, Kingswood, St Marys North, Richmond, Richmond North, Zig Zag and Portland Public Schools please ring Amanda Kupke (Connect Nepean Area Transition to School manager) on 0423 720 492 for more details. Our other schools Katoomba North, Bligh Park, Kingswood Park and St Marys South at this stage will not be operating in 2020 but please ring Amanda Kupke for further information.
ECEC Services (Long Day Care and Preschool) are continuing service as normal, we appreciate that the decision remains with families if they wish to remove from services, however, as per our Fees policy fees will continue to be charged as long as the service is operating.
NDIS Services Lapstone and Hazelbrook teams will continue as normal where possible, however in some circumstances we may be required to change some aspects of our service delivery, these changes will be notified to all affected clients directly. For enquiries please ring Hazelbrook: 4758 9966 or Lapstone: 4739 0020
Early Learning Group is operating on Tuesday and Thursday at Bungarabee – Hazelbrook. Please ring Deb Emelhain for booking 0491 228 258
Sector Capacity Building Program will continue to operate between 2020-2021 in 15 Community Based Preschools across the Blue Mountains and District region. Please contact Deb Emelhain on 0491 228 258 for further details.
For information regarding Connect Western Sydney Playgroups/Starting School Groups/Little Possums Program/Kidzone please ring Jo Everingham on 0490 049 950
Dianella Cottage 4782 9263
As at 20 Jul 2020:
Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre 1300 363 967
- All face to face outreaches in Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Bathurst have now been changed to phone or video conference advice. Phone legal advice line will still operate on 4704 0207 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday afternoon. Callers can leave a message if we are talking to other callers. This can be used for people who are unable to call us about their legal issue directly, or to avoid having to tell their story twice.
- The Tenancy Advice Line on 4704 0201 is still operational on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.
- All GFS services are being provided using alternative online platforms where possible.
- Counselling, Art and Play Therapy and Family work are continuing and referrals are being received.
- Parenting groups for term 2 have been suspended and we are working to provide these online.
- Winmalee and Blaxland playgroups are currently not being held for term 2 although the Facebook pages for these groups are very active.
- ITAV Mentoring program still supporting Early Childhood Centres.
- Other groups facilitated by GFS are continuing to operate via online platforms.
- Essentials Emergency Relief program operating on 9 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm Tuesdays and Fridays from office in Blaxland.
If people requiring support could ring ahead 4720 6500 to advise support needed so that our staff can be prepared and minimise physical contact.
LEAD Professional Development Association Inc 0439 048 449
Shaped by our priority to maintain the safety of LEAD’s staff, our stakeholders and our participants, our new regime includes:
- Continuation of our business hours- we have closed our physical office, but staff are working remotely and are ready to take your call or respond to your email: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.
- Facilitation of learning events- we are working with our team of trainers and facilitators to bring you digital access to workshops, seminars and forums. Details of these will be provided through our regular updates;
- Postponement of Scheduled Face-to-Face workshops-until at the end of May 2020. We are currently contacting all registered participants and offering them a credit to be used when the event is rescheduled, or a full refund. If this period is extended, we will be in contact with you;
- eLearning options- we will build on our successful rollout of eLearning courses developed for NSW teachers. Our interactive and engaging eLearning events give you the added flexibility of participating at a time that suits you, and there are no parking hassles! Topics will include On The Run (Accidental) Counselling, Self-care, Mental Health During Periods of Unpredictability, Working in Isolation/Working Remotely, Resilience During Uncertainty, with new content being added as they are developed;
- Zoom meetings & networks- we will facilitate and participate in meetings, forums and discussion groups across our district. A great example of this was this week’s Linker Network Working Group Meeting- conducted via a teleconference. All participants agreed to continue to focus on this important initiative despite the barriers of the current environment;
- DCJ Contract Support- following on from our successful DEX training sessions we are developing a zoom version that captures the practical set up of organisation’s DEX reporting frameworks. We will also be continuing our Program Logic support sessions, to provide individual customised support to organisations that may not be eligible for NCOSS funded TEI Support. Also coming will be “Integrating Program Logic & DEX into Your Organisation” a customised service that will help you to develop and integrate new policies, procedures and forms that will enable your organisation to be TEI ready by 1 June 2020;
- Aboriginal Workforce Development- under the guidance of the amazing Kerrie-Anne White LEAD is exploring culturally appropriate ways to continue to support and develop local Aboriginal workers;
- Resource Development- we will continue to develop new resources that support our sector. Our latest version of “Diversity in Practice” is almost ready for release, and our updated “Implementing Evidence-Based Practices” report will be available next month;
- Corporate Governance & Policies - now could be an ideal time for some organisations to review their Governance knowledge and update their organisation’s policies. We can arrange for a “Policy Audit & Stocktake”, to identify if there are policies that you should have in place, and review those that may be in need of an update.
Legal Aid NSW
Legal Aid NSW is continuing to provide services to our clients and the general public, however the health and safety of our staff and clients is paramount. We are transitioning all advice services to phone advice only. Clients can continue to make an appointment at our Advice Clinics by phoning their closest service. Find the service closest to you here: https://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/get-legal-help/find-a-service.
For now, Legal Aid NSW will not be attending any face to face community events and any we were in the process of organising have been postponed indefinitely until government guidelines direct otherwise. We will continue to have lawyers at local courts and at many other courts across NSW, however there have been changes to some of the requirements for attending in person. Parties or those seeking to use the court services should telephone the Court or their legal representatives for more information.
Likemind 8880 8111
We are committed to supporting to you
Mountains Community Resource Network (MCRN) 4759 3599
· MCRN staff are essentially working from home and will remain in self-isolation until health authorities give us the “all clear”.
· The MCRN Offices are therefore closed until further notice; and all Meeting Room bookings likewise cancelled for the foreseeable.
· All scheduled meetings and interagencies will go ahead at the normal time, via video- or teleconferencing
o BMCI next Tuesday, and Wellbeing next Thursday, for example, will go ahead via Zoom;
o we are investigating how it might be possible for us to afford to upgrade Zoom (so that it does not kick us off after 40 minutes 😉);
o interagency Agendas and Outlook invitations, therefore, will contain the link, conference number and password, which you will need to be able to join in;
o obviously, this will require you to have access to a mobile, PC or laptop with internet connection and the Zoom app loaded (this is free to download & use).
· We will all be exploring ways delivering what services and supports we can in different ways and through different media (and some of you have already become very creative 😊) s– of course, BM services are already very skilled at doing things differently, so I know we will manage this challenge as well.
Mountains Outreach Community Services (MOCS) 4758 6811
Staff will be working from home. Please contact us individually by email or mobile phone as listed on our MOCS Team page.
MOCS Playgroups are online - while restrictions are easing, community centres are still closed and numbers for gatherings are restricted, so we’re staying with our online Playgroup for the time being: https://www.facebook.com/groups/511679169716158/
All other MOCS groups and activities are suspended for the duration. Groups and activities affected:
· Parenting Young
· First Time Parents
· PPP Course
· ARC’s Koori Playgroup
Mountains Youth Services Team (MYST) 1300 00 6978
As at 21 Jul 2020:
MYST is again delivering face to face to individual clients who are not showing any signs of illness, following strict procedures of social distancing and hand sanitising and disinfecting. Call MYST on 1300 00 6978 to book in and see a youth worker, case manager or counsellor.
Zoom catch up's are still available for those who chose this or those that are unwell.
MYST is starting group activities again from this term, we have a RAGE program starting this week at Springwood Youth Centre and we have started scheduled Drop-In's (you must book in for these as places are limited). We have a maximum of 9 young people and 2 workers in the Springwood Centre and 12 young people and 2 workers at the Katoomba Centre, adhering to the one person to 4sqm rule. We have COVID Safe plans for both Centres.
Outdoor Explore programs are also running again from this term..
Mypower Foundations 0477 755 908
As at 20 Jul 2020:
Mypower Foundations are still providing supports to our clients, and have a small amount of capacity at this stage for clients who need domestic assistance, help with groceries and other errands, personal care, and social interaction and connection, skill building etc.
We have completed COVID 19 training, and support people have been instructed to stay home if at all unwell, and we will send an alternative worker (very different to our usual model, as we usually prefer the same worker/client to build rapport).
We can offer face-to-face video calling if the client or worker is unable to leave the home due to illness, or must self isolate.
Platform Youth Services 4760 0800
Whilst Platform’s office is closed we are still available for young people at risk or experiencing homelessness - call the office on 4760 0800.
Salvation Army - Blue Mountains 0460 816 360
As at 22 Jul 2020:
Food, Goods, Vouchers
At this stage we are opening our connect office Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10 am to 1pm. Book an appointment: 0460 816 360
We are able to provide, food assistance (goods in kind), vouchers where necessary and EPA vouchers.
Food hampers - 12pm to 3pm Mon, Wed and Fri. No need to book.
Hamper Hotline: 0472 656 472 (Upper Blue Mountains Salvos)
We have had to move to appointments only, no longer doing drop in. Appointments can be made by calling 0460 816 360.
The Emergency Relief Assessment Team is on 1300 371 288, bookings must be made to pick up an assessment card on 0460 816 360
Things are changing so quickly, we will endeavor to keep open as long as we can but soon we will need to move to phone assessments only.
Moneycare Financial Counselling Services
We have transitioned to working from home and providing our financial counselling service via phone.
Like yourselves, we’re feeling the uncertainty of these times. Fortunately, we’re still able to provide our holistic service to people in financial difficulty or changed circumstances (mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, electricity & more). There may be ongoing stress for the person or as a direct result from COVID_19. Our lines are open and ready with up to date information on financial hardship and what’s available for you.
Each year thousands of people benefit from connecting with us and tell us:
“I can now sleep at night”; “I wished I’d known sooner”; “Best call I’ve ever made”
Please contact us via one of the details below. Our service is free & independent.
PS: Make tomorrow easier by contacting us and taking action today.
Moneycare Financial Capability Case Worker - Glenda: 0435 965 015
Springwood Neighbourhood Centre 4751 3033
The Centre is open between 11 am and 2 pm Mondays to Thursdays (not Fridays) for information, referrals, food support and advocacy.
TAFE NSW is pausing all training and educational delivery starting Monday 30 March.
During the temporary pause, our teaching teams will be working to get everything ready for classes to recommence on 27 April including preparing to use connected online learning where it is possible to do so.
There will be some exceptions to the pause. This includes TAFE Digital courses and the delivery of training for critical skills areas, such as aged care and enrolled nursing for students, who are due to complete before the end of term 1 and wish to do so.
From 27 April, TAFE NSW will recommence delivery to students through connected and blended delivery. This may include face-to-face delivery where necessary and where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented. Teachers will discuss arrangements directly with their students over the next few weeks.
TAFE NSW remains open and we will continue to provide counselling and disability services, Aboriginal and International student support, childcare centres and student associations.
Libraries will be closed to the general public, but will continue to be open to support students. Social distancing will be in place.
The Benevolent Society 1800 236 762
Our team remains committed to continuing our service delivery during these very uncertain and challenging times. Like so many organisations, our team has been working around the clock to plan and implement measures to help ensure clients can still access services, wherever it is safe to do so for both them and our employees.
We will continue to place high importance on the prevention, management and control of infections through best practice and in accordance with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and clients.
We’ve activated additional measures to protect our employees and clients that includes:
- Implementing social distancing and increased virtual and remote working across all our site
- Increased virtual service delivery where possible and additional screening prior to all client appointments to ensure it’s safe
- Reinforcing our infection control procedures and continuously making sure they’re in place
- Close communication with all employees to monitor their health and safety and the health and safety of clients in their care.
Our aged care, disability and child and family teams across the country will continue to update their clients personally about any necessary changes to how we deliver their service. We will also keep updating the dedicated COVID-19 section of our website with organisational updates as they unfold and useful resources.
We will be transparent and as proactive as possible during this time and would like to reassure you that we will continue to provide support and services where we can. Please email or call us if you have any questions – we’re here to help.
Thrive Services 4782 1555
We are still open to provide practical support from our Katoomba centre at 2 Station Street.
We may be able to assist with:
* Emergency relief food cards
* Fruit, vegetable and bread parcels
* Emergency food
* Telstra bill assistance
* Utility bill aid
* Firewood vouchers
* Information and referral
Ring to find out more on 4782 1555 Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm (closed for lunch 12.30 pm to 1pm).
Wentworth Community Housing 4777 8000
Wentworth has put several measures in place to protect its tenants, staff, and the organisation from the outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
As well as closing our office, all non-essential face to face meetings or visits have been suspended until further notice. This includes all property inspections and tenant engagement events, including Tenant Advisory Group meetings.
Stay safe and stay tuned for more information. All of our staff are still contactable during business hours via phone or email and we are here to respond to your needs.
Western Sydney Family Referral Service 1300 403 373
As at 20 Jul 2020:
Western Sydney Family Referral Service remains open during the COVID 19 pandemic..
Most staff are currently working from home and supporting clients over the phone. Some staff are available in the Mount Druitt office, and on some days in Penrith, Blacktown, and Parramatta, but you need to call 1300 403 373 to make an appointment.
We are able to support families where there is a child as risk of harm, where the level of risk does not meet the threshold for statutory intervention..
Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre 4754 4050
As at 20 Jul 2020:
Remains open to help vulnerable members of our community in these difficult times.
Ring for information or appointment.
- Financial assistance (electricity/gas bills, Telstra bills, Sydney Water billes)
- NILS No Interest Loans Scheme –no interest, no fees, no charge for Greenslips, regos, medical, vet, etc
- Fresh food program
- Coles vouchers
- Kmart vouchers
- Fuel vouchers
- Community Food Cupboard
- Food packs/frozen meals
- Work Development Orders – overdue fines
Unfortunately Monday lunch has closed.
Please be reassured that we have modified our processes for our fresh food and food cupboard to meet the new Coronavirus social distancing and hygiene guidelines. We have staff who have completed food handling training.
We are open for fresh food daily and our food cupboard will continue to operate on Friday morning between 10.30am and 12.30pm.
NILS appointments are on Tuesday and every second Monday 10am - 2pm
Electricity, Gas and other Utility bills appointments are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am - 11.30am.
Our emergency relief - Support with Dignity program covers Nepean, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Central West as we share our Emergency Relief with Gateway, Bligh Park Community Centre, Women’s Cottage Richmond, THRIVE - Katoomba and Lithgow, BANC, Oberon and Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre.
We are also providing bushfire relief (practical support, financial, vouchers) in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Central West