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Media Release 31 March 2020 - Volunteers asked to register first

31 Mar 2020, 8:35 AM

Locals wanting to lend a helping hand are asked to register with an official volunteering body first.

Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre (WWEOC) Controller David Simes says there is an increasing concern in Waitomo, Otorohanga and Waipā communities around residents accepting essential goods from people, which may be a health risk.

“We have a very caring and supportive community, and there are so many people out there who want to do whatever they can to help,” says Simes.

“The health and safety of our communities is paramount and we cannot be sure parcels of food or essential goods meet health and safety requirements unless they come through sanctioned sources,” says Simes.

He says the WWEOC’s welfare team is working with the support networks locally to identify vulnerable groups, assess their needs, and provide the help needed.

“It’s fantastic we have so many kiwis wanting to do anything they can, particularly to support those most vulnerable in our community, but I cannot stress enough that we need to work together to make sure that support is provided in the safest possible way.”

Those wishing to help their community are asked to register through Volunteering Waikato at https://volunteeringwaikato.org.nz/

Anyone needing volunteers for essential services should email gecc.operations@waikatoregion.govt.nz  and provide information including what tasks are being undertaken, the skillset required, timeframes, shifts and location.

For businesses wishing to provide essential services, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is the lead agency.

Those in urgent need of food should contact their local Food Bank.