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Communique No. 9

Welcome to the ninth communique regarding Knoxbrooke’s response to COVID-19 coronavirus.

Knoxbrooke’s COVID-19 Taskforce continues to monitor events locally and globally and considers all new Federal, State and Local Government announcements. The health and safety of the people we support and our team is front of mind when undertaking such reviews.

Knoxbrooke’s COVID-19 Taskforce met yesterday and advise as follows:

Slow and steady, safety-first approach

In the last communique, Knoxbrooke advised that a careful, gentle restart of the social enterprises would commence and for Basecamps, Achieve and Mawarra Day Services, Knoxbrooke would be offering Zoom videoconferencing and 365 in-home support.

This last month has seen these changes come into effect and have proceeded without incident.

Join a Zoom session – Have your questions answered

The following Zoom sessions are available, if you would like to join and hear more about how Knoxbrooke is navigating COVID-19 and out current future expectations. It will also provide you with the opportunity to have your questions answered.

Zoom – Yarra View Nursery and Knoxbrooke Outsource

Date/time:         Monday, 1 June at 4pm

Attending:          Kristian Dauncey, CEO

                             Scott Buckland, EGM Social Enterprises

                             Fleur George, Manager Support Employment Services

Zoom details:    Meeting ID 833 2874 6384          PIN 709520       

Zoom – Mawarra Day Services, Op Shop and Sorting Centre, Jigsaw and Waratah

Date/time:         Tuesday, 2 June at 4pm

Attending:          Kristian Dauncey, CEO

                             Scott Buckland, EGM Social Enterprises

                             Claire Cutler, Regional Manager West Gippsland

Zoom details:    Meeting ID 891 7918 2063          PIN 055976

Zoom – Basecamps and Extras

Date/time:         Wednesday, 3 June at 4pm

Attending:          Kristian Dauncey, CEO

                             Gai Campbell, Regional Manager Outer East

Zoom details:    Meeting ID 898 4210 9132          PIN 642516

General Update

Social enterprises

All social enterprises are operating again but at a reduced capacity with strict social distancing and hygiene protocols in place including staggered lunch break times, regular sanitising of high-touch points and increased support to ensure social distancing is observed at all times.

It’s been terrific having everyone back albeit it on reduced days and hours. The social enterprises are operating at a sustainable COVID-19 pace that enables Knoxbrooke to run the social enterprises whilst ensuring all staff and supported employees remain safe.

Mawarra, Basecamps and Achieve

Knoxbrooke appreciates that the school system is progressively re-opening and some enquiries have been received on Knoxbrooke’s re-opening for group supports such as Basecamps, Achieve, Extras and Mawarra Day Services.

The initial advice remains unchanged that these services will remain closed until at least 31 July 2020. Knoxbrooke provides support to adults living with a disability and does not fall under the school system. Knoxbrooke is required to follow directives from the Department of Health and Human Services which has detailed guidelines on what is/isn’t possible for disability providers under COVID-19.

Presently, group support is classified as non-essential and disability providers are not able to offer safe group support under current restrictions. For Basecamps this is further complicated in that local Councils from whom we hire the facilities, presently prohibit the use of their facilities for non-essential indoor activities. When restrictions at Federal, State and Local Government levels ease to a point where Knoxbrooke can re-commence, the Knoxbrooke COVID-19 Taskforce will undertake a review to ensure that services can re-commence safely before deciding on a date.

In the interim, the team have worked double-time to ensure that alternatives such as Zoom videoconferencing enable people to catch-up on latest news and join great online offerings.

Centre-based respite

We know that for some families, this prolonged period of suspension has caused significant challenges. To assist, we are pleased to now offer Monday-Friday 1:1 centre-based day respite in Warragul, Ferntree Gully and Ringwood.

If you are interested but concerned about NDIS funding, please note that the NDIS has been good to-date in recognising that this is an extraordinary period and are making quick decisions so that participants can secure the necessary support required through additional funding requests. Knoxbrooke can help you navigate NDIS funding is required.

If Centre-based respite is of interest to you, please contact the Regional Managers whose details are:

              Claire Cutler, West Gippsland Regional Manager              clairec@knoxbrooke.com.au 0499 600 666

              Gai Campbell, Outer East Regional Manager gaic@knoxbrooke.com.au 0419 534 094

Knoxbrooke 365 support (in-home and local community support)

Knoxbrooke 365 has seen tremendous uptake during COVID-19. Many day service team members are available in providing this great support.

With the recent easing of restrictions, we are excited to advise that Knoxbrooke can now offer local community support. Previously, support was restricted to in-home support with walks for exercise from the home.

We are now able to offer short trips by vehicle where the trip to the destination is 15 minutes or less. To ensure the safety of participants and staff, there are a number of safety protocols that need to be met but it is now possible to get out and about in your local area with support. It’s a small change but can make a big difference.

If you would like to arrange 365 support, please email 365outereast@knoxbrooke.com.au  or call 0419 109 321 if residing in Melbourne’s outer east and 365westgippsland@knoxbrooke.com.au or call 0418 311 516 if residing in West Gippsland.

Office Arrangements

Both Knoxbrooke offices (Ringwood and Warragul) remain closed. You can still call the main line and it will be redirected to Knoxbrooke team members working remotely. Payment of accounts in person is unfortunately no longer possible. Payments can be made through bank transfer, direct debit or cheques/bank cheques mailed.

COVID-19 Coronavirus and Knoxbrooke

Please be advised that Knoxbrooke does not have any current cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. Should you have flu-like symptoms, please follow the advice of https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus and call the Government COVID-19 HOTLINE on 1800 675 398.

Please also alert Knoxbrooke through either the Knoxbrooke HOTLINE or email below:

HOTLINE:            0475 500 550

Email:                  covid19@knoxbrooke.com.au

For up-to-date information on Knoxbrooke services, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 website:    www.knoxbrooke.com.au/covid19

Thank you for your continued support.

Kristian Dauncey

Chief Executive Officer