As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly and dramatically altered the everyday way of life for communities around Australia, QICGRE and the centre teams played a vital role in supporting their local communities.
Among the wide range of support provided, staff at QICGRE centres mobilised the ‘A little thanks goes a long way’ initiative, taking advantage of opportunities to bring joy to those affected by COVID-19 and show their appreciation for essential workers who continued to provide important services for the community throughout lockdowns.
After seeing toilet paper disappear from supermarket shelves around the country during panic-buying, Eastland partnered with the Maroondah Age & Disabilities Services and Maroondah Community Assist Program to provide 2,000 toilet rolls to families in need. The toilet paper rolls were sourced from Glad Group Property Services, Eastland’s integrated services partner.
With stay-at-home restrictions in place, the Watergardens team delivered over 150 goodie bags to its neighbours at The Lakes Estate retirement community. The goodie bags included cleaning items, face masks, hand sanitiser, Easter eggs, and a free coffee card for residents to redeem at the Centre. The Watergardens team also came together to say thanks to its retail partners, delivering care packages which included cleaning products, wipes, hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and face masks.
With people around the country becoming suddenly reliant on financial support from the Government, Centrelink offices were quickly inundated with people seeking to make a claim. To support the staff at the centre’s local Centrelink office, the Robina Town Centre team mobilised to deliver lunch for workers at the office every day for a week at the height of the demand.
Some of GRE’s regional shopping centres helped to spread some Mother’s Day joy to residents in local aged care facilities, each donating a smart tablet for residents to allow them to video chat with their families during restricted visiting periods.
With the pandemic significantly reducing social interaction for those living in aged care facilities, Werribee launched a ‘Letters of Hope’ pen pal initiative to facilitate communication between aged care residents and members of the local community, with messages exchanged including hand-written letters, pictures, drawings and videos.
The pandemic has seen a corresponding rise in the prevalence of domestic violence. Through a partnership with The Wash House, a community domestic violence charity, Westpoint organised the delivery of pamper packs and flower bouquets for local mothers facing difficult circumstances.