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How lockdown affected the Upside community

News   |   June 22nd, 2020

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"During a crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak, families need their immediate, basic needs, food, housing and responsive relationships met before they can focus on anything else.” Harvard University, Centre on the Developing Child

(Photos above - Upside care packages delivered at Level 3 / Food parcels for Upside families, thanks to The Village Community Services Trust)

During Levels 3 and 4 of lockdown, Upside families experienced high levels of stress. Food insecurity was common and many Upside families accessed food parcels from churches, community centres and the Salvation Army to get through.

"It was really nice that Laura* kept in touch with Sami* during lockdown on the phone. She was really excited to see her and couldn't wait for the restrictions to lift so she could see again. She really looks forward to seeing her." (*Names have been changed)

Whānau and caregivers were really appreciative of Upside mentors who kept their responsive relationships going with their young people in whatever way they could. This was especially true for caregivers with children with learning challenges or who were suffering the ongoing effects of trauma.

The regular connection from mentors helped maintain routine and familiarity during so much change. Parents told us this helped their young people stay calm, and this helped play a part in reducing stress in the whole household. 

We were really proud of Upside mentors during lockdown. They got creative and flexible and continued to make a difference for children and their families in the hardest of times.