April 30, 2020

West Auckland working together to support community during COVID-19

Over the past three weeks, Healthy Families Waitākere has turned its hand to something a little different, joining a group of volunteers to deliver food parcels to over 900 families across West Auckland.

Alongside the Sport Waitakere team, Healthy Families Waitakere has joined forces with Family Action, Massey Matters and MPHS have been working together to support and enable VisionWest to continue to deliver essential service to vulnerable families. On Wednesdays and Fridays, Sport Waitākere and Healthy Families Waitākere teams have been leaving their home office to take up roles as drivers, delivering food parcels in personal protective equipment to family homes throughout West Auckland.

VisionWest, Sport Waitākere, Family Action, Massey Matters and MPHS alongside others are part of the Collaborative Marketplace, a group who meet regularly to trade and share skills and resources for the benefit of the West Auckland community.  Food security has been a focus for the group and during the initial stages of the pandemic, the group discussed future work plans and explored a collective response to the challenges that were to come, says Sport Waitākere CEO Lynette Adams.

“Volunteering for the VisionWest Pataka Kai helps our team to continue to do what we are good at, enabling people in West Auckland to live healthy and active lives.  It has been a huge privilege to be stepping up and working alongside others to help our partner organisations and more importantly, our community during this uncertain time.”

The VisionWest Pātaka Kai, one of a number of VisionWest’s services deemed to be essential, continues to operate strongly during the lockdown, but could not do so without the collaboration of a number of West Auckland groups.

Brook Turner, Head of Community Service Development at VisionWest, says, “We are hugely appreciative of West Auckland organisations like Sport Waitākere who have worked with us to help the vulnerable in our communities during this time. Thanks to this collaboration we have been able to distribute over 3000 food parcels to whānau in our community during the level 4 lock down.”

VisionWest is interested in hearing from any agencies in the west willing to offer volunteer support. As needs continue to rise, more collaboration will be needed to respond to those hit the hardest by this crisis. If you would like to get in touch with VisionWest please contact brook.turner@visionwest.org.nz.