Hotline answers more than 20,000 calls during COVID-19 pandemic

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

It’s been one year since the Palaszczuk Government established the Community Recovery Hotline during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then it has received more than 20,000 calls for information, advice and assistance.

Minister for Communities, Housing and Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said Hotline (1800 173 349) had been a central point of contact for Queenslanders, including seniors and people with disability, who needed support accessing groceries, medicines and other essential items during the pandemic.

“The Community Recovery Hotline has played an important role in the Palaszczuk Government’s response to COVID-19 and has helped ensure the safety of Queenslanders,” Minister Enoch said.

“In just 12 months, our hardworking hotline staff have answered more than 20,000 calls, resulting in 11,150 requests for assistance.

“The hotline staff worked with our partners, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, GIVIT, the Rapid Relief Team, St Vincent De Paul and Uniting Care Queensland, to coordinate these requests and help Queenslanders get the support they needed.

“In fact, these non-government organisations helped us support more than 2600 requests for food, 1800 requests for medication and 2400 requests for household and personal hygiene items.

“As an important frontline service, the Community Recovery Hotline has operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing support particularly to seniors and people with disability who didn’t have neighbours, family or friends to assist them while they isolated at home.”

The Community Recovery Hotline also played a key role in supporting the Care Army and helping link people with volunteers.

Thousands of older Queenslanders received support through the hotline, and many expressed their gratitude for the help and kindness provided to them by hotline staff and Care Army volunteers.

Among them was 69-year-old Sithy from Brisbane, who was advised by her doctor to self-isolate during the height of the pandemic.

Sithy told Community Recovery Hotline staff that she needed assistance to secure food and did not have friends or family nearby who could help her.

The hotline staff linked Sithy with the Salvation Army, who delivered groceries to her door.

Ms Enoch said she had heard countless stories of Queenslanders who received help through the Community Recovery Hotline.

“This includes Leonarda, an elderly woman who is legally blind in the Rockhampton region, who received help with securing a home delivery from her local supermarket,” she said.

“Leonarda told hotline staff that this small act of kindness had made her day.

“In another case, the hotline arranged for a 71-year-old man in North Queensland who had a fall to be assisted by the Salvation Army to get a personal mobile alarm.

“These stories and the stories of the thousands of other Queenslanders assisted by the hotline, highlight just how important this service has been during the pandemic.”

The Community Recovery Hotline is still active on 1800 173 349 for people who need assistance during the pandemic and have no other means of accessing support.

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