Golden Plains Shire has joined the Be Kind campaign, started by its Central Highlands Council partner City of Ballarat. The Be Kind Golden Plains campaign is all about bringing people together in spirit and encouraging kindness and support during the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. We’ve been sharing initiatives from Government, Council and the community on our social media channels, the Gazette, and on this page.
Be Kind To Others
Council will be featuring initiatives from Government, Council and the community on this page and on its social media platforms to help each other out during these difficult times. If you're running a support program and would like it featured, please email [email protected].
Are you looking for a way to help out your neighbours during this difficult time? Why not print out some of these Care-Cards developed by Leadership Ballarat & Western Region and drop them off in letterboxes?
Community Support Groups
The Linton community have put together a Facebook group to connect Linton community members (and their families or friends if they are not on Facebook) who are self-isolating or having trouble getting supplies. Created by a local Linton resident, should you wish to join this network, please contact the Linton & District Progress Association.
Notifying neighbours of burn-offs
While the Fire Danger Period has passed, let's be kind to one another by letting your neighbour know when you're planning to burn off your garden waste pile. Also don't forget to:
- Check the Fire Danger Rating;
- Register your burn with the CFA on 1800 668 511;
- Have the means to extinguish your fire; and
- Have cleared around the burn site.
Remember there is no time of year that you can burn off offensive materials, including chemicals, rubber, plastic, petrol, oil, paint, treated timber, furniture or mattresses. To find out more about burning off, click here.
Supporting Elderly and Vulnerable Residents
Council provides important services to a number of elderly and vulnerable residents, and its Active Ageing & Disability team is making sure they are not forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Essential services for high-need, vulnerable residents, continues, such as delivered meals (Meals on Wheels), essential community transport, support to attend medical appointments and shopping for essential food items. While there have been changes to the team’s usual domestic assistance program, Council is continuing to provide this service to clients who have on-going respiratory/chronic health conditions and do not have a support network of family or friends.
Respite services and social support programs have now been suspended, however the team are keeping in regular contact with clients to minimise the impact of isolation. The team are calling clients to check-in and complete activities together over the phone, such as completing a newspaper quiz together, doing a crossword or just talking about a TV series.
Council’s Active Ageing & Disability team has also developed a partnership with Smythesdale IGA to assist it with the increase in requests for delivered meals and immediate food relief. The supermarket has retained stock such as toilet paper, sugar and pasta for Council to purchase for relief packs, and then home delivered these packs for community members in need.
Recently, the team distributed 'How to make a Hanging Plant' kits to centre-based social support clients to keep their spirits up during the COVID-19 restrictions. The recipients enjoyed putting together their hanging pot, and are now sitting back and admiring their handy work.
Have you heard about the Victorian Government's Emergency Relief Packages? Residents from Golden Plains who are self-isolating due to COVID-19 with no access to food and essential supplies may be able to receive a package from today. Coordinated by the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria, residents can access the program by calling the Victorian coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398. You can find out more about the program here.
Be Kind To Business
Let's support our local businesses that are still operating, even if under different conditions, and shop local. As you would have read on page four, as part of its support to businesses, Council has developed a business listing of local businesses that are still open and trading. Featuring cafes, eateries and restaurants, wineries, and other businesses and services, check out the list in previous editions of the Golden Plains Times or online here.
Is your business now offering take-away only options, or delivering to homes and businesses, or you have set up online sales or consultations? If your café, restaurant or business is still trading, but you’ve had to change the way sell your product or service, let Council know by emailing [email protected] to get it featured in this campaign.
Golden Plains Virtual Farmers' Market
Are you missing all the wonderful fresh produce, products and handcrafted goods from the monthly market in Bannockburn? To support the stallholders during COVID-19 restrictions, Council has launched the Golden Plains Virtual Farmers' Market to allow customers to directly contact and order from their favourite vendors. For the full list of stallholders, as well as other businesses that are still operating, click here.
Be Kind To Yourself
Whether you’re looking for something to do at home or just how to keep the kids occupied after home-school, make it easy on yourself and check out some of these ideas:
Your Library @ Home
Do you love reading, but have run out of books since the Bannockburn and Golden Plains Libraries closed? Accessing Geelong Regional Libraries’ eBook and eAudiobook collection is about to get easier for library members. From Friday 1 May, the library is moving all its digital titles to a single platform, BorrowBox, to make sure accessing these great resources is as easy as possible. For all the details, click here. Geelong Regional Library Corporation have also launched 'Your Library @ Home', which has a range of educational, informative and entertaining video and audio events and content for all ages.
Backyard Brain Breaks
With options on how to keep your kids active limited by COVID-19 restrictions, Council partnered with YMCA Bannockburn to create a series of ten videos with fun activities you can do at home. From Backyard Bowling, to Uno Fitness, to even learning the Nutbush! Check out the videos here.
ABC Educational Programming
With most children currently learning from home, the ABC is screening primary and secondary school educational programming during the week. More than 4,000 videos, resources and games that match with the Victorian curriculum will help parents and teachers with home based learning during this challenging time. To find out more, and to download the program for each week, click here.
Community Bear Hunts
With families stuck at home, communities across Victoria, including some in Golden Plains, have started 'Bear Hunts', where children search for teddy bears placed in windows or prominent locations. Want to start a Bear Hunt in your community to help keep kids occupied while on your daily exercise trip outside? Click here for inspiration.
Council's Online Youth Programming
With its in-person Bannockburn and Smythesdale weekly youth group meetings cancelled due to COVID-19 social gathering restrictions, Golden Plains Shire Council’s Youth team have set up virtual meetings over Zoom, where young people from all over the Shire can join in.
Building on the success of the first online youth group, the Youth team put together a weekly schedule of free online events to help keep the Shire’s young people connected. The program includes:
- Motivational Monday: series of online guest speakers
- Trivia Tuesday: online quizzes and trivia
- Wellbeing Wednesday: 30 minute wellbeing videos
- Just Thursday: Virtual youth group
- Free Movie Friday: watch movies together through Netflix Party
Council’s Youth team also ran a highly successful Social Isolation Photography Competition, which attracted 30 entries, from around the Shire and even one from overseas. Participants were asked to capture something from their home or property that encapsulated their social isolation experience, accompanied by a short description of what it means to them.
Other online youth events have included a young writer’s workshop with author Mark Smith, which was rescheduled as an online workshop after the in-person event had to be cancelled.
Challenging and uncertain times can often be stressful, and impact on your mental health. If you're struggling or feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, be kind to yourself and reach out to a 24/7 support service:
1300 22 4636
13 11 14
1800 55 1800
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harm, call triple zero (000).
Be Kind, Be Safe
On Monday 11 May 2020, the Victorian Government announced the first step in easing restrictions, with changes to its health directions that come into effect from 11.59pm, Tuesday 12 May 2020. To keep yourself and others safe, Council encourages all Golden Plains Shire residents to follow the Government's updated advice to stay home, and only leave your house for:
- shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
- medical, care or compassionate needs
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely
There are also currently enforceable restrictions on public gatherings. For more information on the Government's advice and restrictions, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or call the Victorian Coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398.
To keep yourself and the community safe, Council encourages all Golden Plains Shire residents to follow the Victorian Government's health and hygiene advice:
- Keep a full arm-span (about 1.5 metres) between yourself and other people where possible
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue
- If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
- Continue healthy habits: don’t smoke, exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep
- Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol
There are also enforceable restrictions on travel and public gatherings. For more information on the Government's advice and restrictions, visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or call the Victorian Coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398.