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Message from our CEO

A Message from the CEO in relation to Coronavirus COVID-19
Updated 14 July 2020

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday when we restarted the Greenacres CEO Walk and Talk program. For some of our participants this was their first opportunity in months to get out into the community and to (safely) spend time with their friends.

During our walk, I took the opportunity to reflect on how far we had come through the COVID19 pandemic, and how well we have managed our services to make sure everyone remained safe and well-supported.

During the pandemic we started social and educational online (Zoom) services for our supported employees and Kickstart Participants which continue to run. Our Disability Enterprises responded to shifting demands and is transitioning increasing numbers supported employees safely back to work. The Kickstart Training Centre is back up and running with vocational training and social supports, and our Skilled n Social programs have expanded with a return to programs and activities including in the evenings and on weekends.

Greenacres Community Life and Leisure Centres are now all open and participants are enjoying returning to their services and activities, and of course our very popular Outsider Artist program is also back on deck.

Within this steady transition toward a return to full services, I know we must all remain extremely vigilant. We need to continue to maintain physical distancing, follow strict hygiene practices and maintain preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID19 and keep everyone safe.

The significant outbreak of COVID19 in Victoria, and the more recent outbreak in Western Sydney is a stark reminder of the dangers of becoming complacent. At this time, it is important to remind everyone that when you come to any Greenacres facility or are involved in our services, to please adhere to the strict protocols we have in place around COVID19.

These include maintaining physical distancing, regularly washing hands, temperature testing, using hand sanitiser every time you leave or enter a building, and keeping the correct distance apart at all times. In addition, we are regularly cleaning high touch areas in our sites and centres.

It is most important that if you have:

  • COVID19 symptoms (or)
  • been near anyone one who has, or could be suspected of having COVID 19

please advise us immediately and do not access our services.

Finally, if you haven’t done so already it’s time to download the COVIDSafe App. Please remember that if you do become unwell with COVID19 symptoms, it’s time to get tested.

Keep safe and thank you for your continued support and patience as we negotiate these uncertain times.


A Message from the CEO in relation to Coronavirus COVID-19
Updated 28 May 2020

 

 

I hope everyone in our Greenacres family has been keeping safe and well at home. The Australian community has done an extraordinary job containing the pandemic to this point. With Government restrictions beginning to ease, we are taking a cautious and controlled approach to the reopening of our services in order to ensure the continued safety of our participants and staff.

Our staff have been trained in the protocols around COVID-19 and we are confident in our ability to manage physical distancing in smaller groups.

Some Community Life and Leisure (CLL) services have resumed this week with a limited numbers of participants and we will slowly increase these groups over the coming weeks. Over coming weeks, we will be bringing small groups of our Kickstart participants back to the Kickstart Centre for face to face support. We will also be gradually increasing the number of supported employees coming back to work in the ADE.

Over the last few months Greenacres has introduced a number of online services including both social and training activities, and these will keep running as we continue on the path of returning to full services.

When returning, Greenacres expects everyone to adhere to the strict protocols we have in place around COVID-19. These include rules for temperature readings, physical distancing, regularly washing hands, regular cleaning practices, using hand sanitiser every time you leave or come inside a building and keeping the correct distance apart at all times.

We also insist that if you, or someone you live with, start showing any signs of having COVID-19 including high fever, headache, coughing, fatigue, sore throat, aches and pains, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell please do not come onsite to Greenacres, and please inform us immediately. You will need to stay at home until you have no symptoms and can show us evidence that you have tested negative to COVID-19.

Another way to play your part in keeping vulnerable members of our community safe is by downloading the COVIDSafe app on your mobile phone. The COVIDSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) which helps health officials support and protect you, your friends and family.

Greenacres wants to assure all participants and their families and carers that if a case of COVID-19 was to be confirmed in our work environment, we will take all necessary actions as directed from NSW Health in order to protect our participants, supported employees and staff.

We understand that our careful and cautious approach might be frustrating to some of you who are keen to get back to normal life as soon as possible, but to us, ensuring the health and safety of our participants and staff remains our number one priority.If you have any questions or concerns, please phone Greenacres on 4222 6200 or email info@greenacres.net.au.

 

 

 

 

A Message from the CEO in relation to Coronavirus COVID-19
Updated 26 March 2020

Based on Government guidelines and directives and our absolute commitment to ensure the safety of our participants and staff, Greenacres has temporarily ceased all in-centre and community-based activities from today, Thursday 26 March.

This impacts services delivered through our 16 Community Life and Leisure centres across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, all of our Kickstart programs, our Outsider Artists program and all of our Enterprise Social activities.

Please know that this decision was not made lightly but as an organisation we must play our part in halting the progression of the virus in order to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

At this point in time, our Disability Enterprise (ADE) is still operating, but with reduced numbers as a result of the many supported employees taking leave due to COVID-19. Remaining staff are observing very strict social distancing measures and ensuring hygiene procedures are in place.

My thoughts are with every member of our Greenacres family and I hope everyone stays safe as we move through this period. We will continue to review the situation and will resume services as soon as it is safe to do so.

I look forward to the day when our participants and staff are together again.

 

A message from our CEO, Chris Christodoulou 
Updated 23 March 2020

 

 In light of today’s Government announcement about the first stage of shutdowns of non-essential services, I understand that many of our participants and their families and carers are wanting to know what is happening with Greenacres services.

Our aim is to continue to provide essential support to our participants while strictly following the advice and recommendations of the Australian Government and World Health Organisation.

Our Executive Leadership Team are continuously checking updates from both Federal and State Government and our Peak Body, and we are currently awaiting further clarification on whether any of Greenacres services are considered to be non-essential. I will be releasing further updates as information becomes available.

In the meantime, we are taking every precaution possible to protect our staff, participants, their families and our community by reinforcing Government and Health Authority guidelines at Greenacres.

If you have concerns about your family member accessing any of our services, we completely understand. You have the choice to keep the person that you support at home rather than have them supported within Greenacres services, please just let us know.

We will continue to use all of our communication channels including updating the COVID-19 link on our website, using Facebook and contacting participants directly through email, post and by phone.

If you have concerns you are also welcome to contact us on info@greenacres.net.au or phone Greenacres on 4222 6200.

Once again I would like to stress that the health and well-being of every member of our Greenacres family is our number one concern and the guiding force behind all our future decisions.

 

 

 

A message from our CEO, Chris Christodoulou about coronavirus COVID-19
18 March, 2020

With the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, Greenacres like every other organisation in Australia, is facing an unprecedented situation.

As always, our number one priority is ensuring the health and safety of our staff, our participants and their families.

Our Leadership Team are closely monitoring the situation and we will be following the direction of the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation.

As an organisation, we are prepared to take all steps necessary to reduce the spread of infection.

Currently our services are still operating, however we have been reviewing programs and activities on a daily basis and making adjustments as necessary. We will continue to keep staff, participants and families informed with further developments.

We will be keeping our Greenacres community updated regularly through all of our communication channels including website, newsletters, social media, letters and emails.

At this time we all need to have patience and understanding, to care for each other and to act responsibly as individuals.