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Connecting during COVID-19: Age Concern Nelson Tasman

Rātā Foundation loves hearing about all the ways community organisations are adapting to the changing COVID-19 Alert Levels and continuing to provide services and innovative initiatives online, and over the phone.

This story is part of Rātā’s Connecting during COVID-19 series. Visit our Community Stories page for more.

One positive that will hopefully come out of the COVID-19 lockdown, says Age Concern Nelson Tasman Manager Caroline Budge, is people will gain a better understanding of how important social connection is for wellbeing.

Age Concern Nelson Tasman has responded to the changing COVID-19 Alert Levels by adapting their services and supporting their elderly clients to connect via phone and internet.

Caroline says their weekly visiting service, which caters to about 120 clients, has been changed to ‘Phone A Friend’, which sees volunteers call their elderly friends to check how they are doing.

She says a few clients have even used the online video platform Zoom to take part in a ‘Sing Yourself Well’ session, where they had the chance to sing, dance and have a laugh together.

Caroline says maintaining social connection is vital to positive wellbeing, not just during the lockdown period but all of the time, and being able to adapt their services has enabled them to keep supporting their clients in new and innovative ways.

Rātā Foundation funds Age Concern Nelson under the Support focus area, which enables older people/kaumatua to live full and active lives.

Rātā Foundation also aims to connect and provide social connection for isolated people.

For more information on Age Concern Nelson Tasman, visit their website:

You can also call on 03 544 7624.

To find services in your region, visit the Age Concern national website: