Heeding the advice of public health authorities, Jade, 25, from Broadbeach, withdrew from group and community activities in March and went into lockdown.
This week, she joined 60 other participants for a long-awaited return to group activities!
Centacare threw open the doors at six community centres across South East Queensland on Monday – the first step in the organisation’s gradual return to group activities. A further 12 centres will reopen on Monday 29 June, along with community-based activities for small groups of people.
An active participant in Centacare activities on the Gold Coast, before COVID-19 Jade was used to being on-the-go. She adapted as best she could to the change in routine, enjoying quality one-on-one time with her Centacare support worker and weekly performing arts workshops, which Centacare delivered online.
How does Jade feel to be back at the Broadbeach community centre? Service Delivery Manager Jillian Luman says her smile said it all. “Jade’s two great loves are music and people,” said Jillian. “This week she has been surrounded with both – joining the group guitar playing and singing sessions with gusto. She’s filled with joy.”
“Bingo!” is something that hasn’t been heard in a while. And the clients at Aspley community centre were only too happy to let their cries ring out.
“I’m glad to be back,” said Greg, 69, from Burpengary. “We’ve had a fantastic day. We’ve enjoyed golf, quizzes and of course, a great lunch. It’s amazing what you can do as a group while keeping 1.5 metres apart!”
Joe, 56, and Bernice, 72, both from Durack, were over the moon to be back at the Jamboree Heights community centre. Both had been in full lock-down since March. Joe jumped back on his beloved organ and played like he hadn’t played… in months! Bernice busied herself with creating an artwork.
“Thank you, thank you, I’m back, I’m back!” said Joe.
Christine, 61, Gary, 54, and Tahnee, 27, didn’t waste any time on their first day back at the Caloundra community centre. The trio enjoyed some morning sunshine as they got down to business, creating rock art, which they will distribute in the community.
Centacare Community Services General Manager Sarah Mitchell said centre staff were just as pleased to be back up and running again.
“Our teams have really missed their clients and are very excited,” said Sarah. “They’ve been working hard, cleaning and refreshing our spaces and designing new activities full of meaning that support individual goals and keep people safe.
“Our centres are a really important part of our clients’ lives. They provide social interaction as well as opportunities to get involved in activities, classes and excursions that help them live full and happy lives.”
When resuming face-to-face services, Centacare’s number one priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of its clients and staff. New safety protocols and measures include pre-screening questions for all clients, temperature checks, deep cleaning, signage, reduced numbers, increased staff training and limits on external visitors.
Centacare is an approved provider of NDIS and government subsidised aged care services. Phone 1300 236 822 to find out more.