Group 3

Working under COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia in March the Summer Foundation responded rapidly with a raft of projects to provide tangible, direct support to people with disability and complex needs.

Within weeks we had redeployed staff and set up a Discharge Follow-up Service, a Phone Outreach project and a Housing Brokerage Service. By the start of May we had added our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Initiative.

The country’s great success in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and the work of the NDIA in supporting people with disability being rapidly discharged from hospital means we are now able to wind down the Discharge Follow-up Service.

“As an organisation we are extremely proud of the responsiveness, commitment and sheer hard work undertaken by this team over this short but intense period,” said Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Finis.

As one support coordinator who used the service said – the team was beyond fantastic.”

Hundreds of calls were made to people in our network as part of the Phone Outreach project. It provided an invaluable check on their health and wellbeing as well as a way for us to find out how people with disability want to connect.

Referrals to the Housing Brokerage Service are continuing and we are also looking at what we’ve learnt from this work and our future plans for the service. As an example of the impact this project has made, 2 applications for Specialist Disability Accommodation funding were approved within
weeks – a process that can often take months. 

The PPE Initiative continues with an information webpage and 2 online stores (being operated by suppliers Blackwoods and RSEA Safety) to specifically allow NDIS participants to buy the PPE they need.

The Summer Foundation’s Box Hill office remains closed, with most staff working from home. You can still contact us via email to info@summerfoundation.org.au

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