Be Kind to others
Let's all look out for each other during this challenging time - including family, friends, neighbours and the local community.
Looking after children
Parents, family members, and other trusted adults play an important role in helping children understand the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, as well as reduce fear and anxiety around what they may be overhearing.
Here are some tips if you're caring for children at the moment:
- Stay engaged in community activities, Storytime with Merri-bek’s Libraries and Playgroup Victoria’s Playgroup At Home or attend a Parent Information Session from your home
- It’s also important to continue attending your child’s Maternal and Child Health and immunisation appointments
- Kindergarten, Childcare and Family Day Care are continuing to operate, please contact Council to enrol your child:
- Kindergarten Enrolment, email email@example.com or call 9240 2273
- Childcare Registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9240 2358 Family Day Care, call 9240 2300
- If your child would benefit from inclusion support at Kindergarten, please contact Early Childhood Consultants on 9240 2333 or email email@example.com
There are a range of activities children can engage with at home or while on a walk in your local neighbourhood
- Melbourne Museum At Home
- Zoos Victoria Animals at Home
- NGV Kids at Home
- Parks Victoria Junior Rangers Activities
Children may also like to create an Imagination Jar an activity which addresses feelings of boredom and frustration
Support your child’s learning
Find advice, tips and resources to support your children learning from home
If you have concerns about your child’s safety online, check out these e-safety resources.
- Talking with your children about coronavirus through open conversations will assist them make sense of what they have been seeing, hearing and feeling. It’s also important to promote hope by sharing information about the actions being taken in the community and at home. There are Tip Sheets that can support these conversations.
- Children can seek support through Kids Helpline or 1800 551 800
Parents can seek support by contacting:
- Parentline or call 132289
- Parent Zone Northern (PDF 4Mb) or 8641 8900
- Drummond Street Services are delivering a range of free online parenting courses
Looking after older parents or grandparents
- Share factual information about how they can stay healthy and happy while being safe
- You can contact COTA Vic or look at their website for up-to-date information relevant to older people. The COTA Information helpline — 1300 13 50 90 (Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4pm) provides information for older people who cannot access information online
- Encourage your older people to stay physically active
- Help people to get digitally connected, if possible. They may be eligible for free technology training - get in touch with Lively's in-home or over the phone tech support
- Encourage positive conversations and activities that focus on joyful themes. Perhaps you could share some positive stories about your lives over the phone or write a reflective journal together. Use the great list of questions available at the Story Corps website.
- Print out a set of chair exercises for people to follow
- If someone you know is living with dementia, it may be helpful to seek information and support through Dementia Australia
You and your neighbours
Donate to help others
Local organisations including Youth Projects, Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre or the National Homeless Collective seek donations that will assist your neighbours. They need hand sanitiser, masks, toiletries, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, working second-hand mobile phones with chargers or cash donations. Find out what their needs are and how to contact them.
Let's take time to connect with our neighbours. You might be able to help them out, such as getting food and necessities or even just a daily phone call to say hello.
We know some people might be feeling alone right now, so if everyone in Merri-bek simply knocked on their neighbour's door, called over the fence or made a telephone call to say hello, it would mean every household maintains some much needed social contact.
If safe to do so, and following the latest health advice, you could also offer to get some groceries or food for a neighbour if they are unable to themselves.
During this stressful time, where we are being encouraged to stay at home - evidence indicates there may be an increase in family violence. If you are concerned about someone's safety please contact:
- Victoria Police by calling 000
- Call the safe steps 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188, if it is unsafe to call email firstname.lastname@example.org
- See a list of other contacts and resources we have made available
Elderly or vulnerable in other ways
Think about elderly friends, neighbours, and people with a disability in your community and how you can support each other during periods of self-quarantine or isolation.
Print out a ‘help offered’ postcard to put in your neighbour’s letterbox.
Be Kind - Free from racism and discrimination
COVID-19 outbreak has led to many people showing care and concern for others around them. There were also reports of racist abuse and discrimination.
Racism is very hurtful and affects people. It also means we aren’t able to respond effectively to the pandemic. Everyone has a role to play to call out racism. We call on everyone in Merri-bek to stand up to racism. Racism only thrives when communities fail to say ‘No’.
Find out how you could respond to racism and discrimination.
Join online communities to share local information
- Good Karma Network on Facebook
- Northside Melbourne CoronaVirus Outreach
- Love Your Neighbour Facebook group
- Job vacancies in Victoria during covid19: spread love
- Start a Mutual Aid Network in your neighbourhood. Great resources are available from the Northside Melbourne CoronaVirus Outreach Facebook Group.