Napier City Council Community Advisor Jessica Wilson has been redeployed to support the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group’s COVID-19 welfare team. Jessica has been working as a senior needs assessor since March, taking calls through the regional 0800 welfare line and working out how to get people the help they need. Jessica in one of a number of staff members from Hawke’s Bay’s five councils working as part of the regional welfare response to the pandemic.
“My job is to figure out what people’s needs are and giving them the information they need, and working with Civil Defence and other agencies to meet these needs –things like food, medical needs, accommodation and social support.
“Normally, I’m a community advisor at Napier City Council – I implement programmes, projects and events that fall under the different community policies and strategies. One of my main portfolios is the youth portfolio. Our team also works with community organisations, administers funding, supports community groups, and engages with the community.
“I’ve learnt a lot about what other agencies do on a day-to-day basis, and how there are a whole lot of awesome essential workers and volunteers out there doing amazing things! It’s hard hearing some the situations some people are in, but it’s nice to be able help and relieve individuals and families of some stress during this time.
“The two roles – my normal day-to-day role, and what I’m doing in response – work well together as I already do a bit of education and awareness around Civil Defence, and work with the community and community organisations day to day. So I have a good understanding of what support is available, and then it’s just a matter of bringing it all together.
“I’ve had to get used to working from home and moving everything online (lots of Zoom meetings)! Then trying to put a routine in place – being a mum, teacher, student myself and everything in between, which is a big balancing act. I’m looking forward to everything getting back to normal – or the new normal.”
8 May 2020
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