Goodstart reflects on 2021 NSW contributions as COVID challenges continue
As NSW continues to face the challenge of COVID-19, this time with the Omicron variant, early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider, Goodstart Early Learning, has reflected on 2021, saying the way in which the state, and Australia more broadly, responded is “nothing short of inspirational.”
Some of the many communities greatly impacted by COVID-19 in 2021 were children and families living in western Sydney and western NSW, where COVID-19 was ‘unrelenting’ and community members endured months of lock-down and restrictions.
A collaboration between Goodstart and its suppliers saw much-needed essential items delivered to thousands of children and families impacted by COVID-19 in western Sydney and western NSW communities.
“Within weeks, thousands of donations via bulk shipments started arriving to local distribution hubs managed by NSW Health,” a Goodstart spokesperson explained.
On the ground staff selected and packed “care packs” for children and families in western Sydney (delivered via The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) and families living in western NSW communities, including Dubbo, Enngonia, Burke and Bathurst (delivered by staff at the Western NSW Local Health District).
Among the beneficiaries were some of the 2,500 children in western Sydney alone, who had been in isolation because they or a family member had become infected by COVID-19.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead described the support as “extraordinary” and were heartened that the donation of resources including toys, books and activity packs would bring children great joy and positive engagement.
The initiative aimed to lend direct support to vulnerable children and families and reduce the impacts of COVID-19 wherever possible.
“For more than 11 years, we’ve been a firm part of the NSW’s communities and know first-hand how disruptive COVID-19 has been,” Goodstart’s Chief Corporate Services General Manager Anna Learmonth said, “especially for many children and families in vulnerable circumstances in western Sydney and western NSW communities.”
“The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the NSW Health team responded to our offer of support and highlighted the essential items that were in high demand and challenging to source.
Goodstart had many resources on hand to offer and our suppliers immediately rose to the call for support – many of them continuing to work directly with NSW Health to meet ongoing community needs.
Donations ranged from toilet paper, baby formula to nappies, hand wash, cleaning buckets and women’s sanitary items in addition to children resources including books and activity packs.
“It’s important we don’t lose sight of the social impacts of COVID-19 and wherever possible, draw on our strengths and resources as organisations and as individuals to support local communities during these difficult times,” Ms Learmonth added.
Goodstart acknowledged suppliers including GMK Logistics, Coles, Woolworths, Kimberley Clark, Modern Teaching Aids and Winc for generously donating and for their continued support for the western Sydney and western NSW communities.
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