News

ConnectGV provides online programs for clients amid COVID-19

By Charmayne Allison

From stretching to dancing to baking cakes, ConnectGV staff have been working hard to deliver online programs for clients during isolation.

With social distancing preventing the team from holding its 30 programs face-to-face, staff members have gone virtual.

The online offerings have included music, cooking, theatre, computer skills, communication and yoga.

Offered Monday to Friday, the classes are run by one staff member to three clients, ensuring clients continue to receive the support they need.

“We are thrilled to be offering our clients our first ever online program,” ConnectGV chief executive Carolynne Frost said.

“ConnectGV has always evolved and led the way in service provision to respond to need.

“However, having to adapt our operations so quickly has been a huge task.

“We are so proud of our team of staff who stepped up to the challenge with enthusiasm and always with our clients at heart.”

While ConnectGV has continued to work as an essential service throughout the pandemic, its day options program has operated at a reduced capacity for client safety.

However, staff soon realised this reduction in programs could have an impact on clients’ general wellbeing.

Although ConnectGV admits providing support from a distance would have seemed "outlandish" before COVID-19, it has been the necessary step to connect and communicate with clients.

“With our clients at home, our focus has quickly changed to how we can keep our clients connected, learning skills of their choice, keeping their body and mind active and their spirits high,” Ms Frost said.

“Taking our programs online was the obvious progression.”

Ms Frost said the online program was consistent with ConnectGV's focus on greater flexibility, wider choice and embracing new technologies.

Construction is also under way on ConnectGV's new state-of-the-art day options facility.

With the introduction of the NDIS, a growing client base and ConnectGV’s more than 60-year-old day options building deemed not cost effective to repair, the local disability service has had to rethink its service-delivery model.

The new build will be a major part of this restructure, with a focus on clients’ needs and future programs to support them.

● Anyone wanting to know more about accessing services at ConnectGV can phone 5821 2466 or visit connectgv.com.au