Statement from Wesley Mission CEO, the Rev Dr Keith V Garner AM
Tuesday 17 March 2020
Placing our clients at the centre of our plans, Wesley Mission has been examining carefully how we can best respond to people in need as measures to limit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic increase.
Continuing to provide essential services to support people experiencing homelessness with crisis accommodation, calls to Lifeline Sydney and Sutherland, mums and their young children receiving mental health care and those in treatment in our mental health hospitals is paramount.
For many people a Wesley Mission service is their home, including residential aged care and retirement living, programs looking after young people exiting the foster care system, to vulnerable people in supported housing and people with disability.
This is not the time for our essential services to face closure, rather I am leading staff and volunteers to find suitable ways to continue supporting the people who rely on Wesley Mission and adhere to advice from public health agencies and medical professionals.
In each of our locations we have reviewed protocols and infection control principles to ensure the safety of our clients and staff.
With appropriate directions limiting large gatherings, the decision has been made to cancel events such as the Wesley LifeForce Suicide Memorial Service due to be held in Brisbane at the beginning of April and upcoming Fundraising functions.
Another essential aspect of Wesley Mission is our diverse congregational life. This year we had decided to mark Easter with the theme ‘signals of hope’, a message that is powerfully needed at this time when so many are fearful.
While our planned public Palm Sunday and Good Friday events will not be going ahead in their current format, I hope to continue with the Sunrise Service live broadcast to the nation on Easter Sunday supported by a small film crew.
In this time when our meeting in person is appropriately limited, the message of Easter is one that we will continue to share boldly with our community through digital and other creative means.
If you need immediate support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.