Outbreak of compassion

AN army of volunteers who’ve stepped up to ensure Perth’s seniors have some support to get through Coronavirus has restored local MP John Carey’s faith in humanity.

After blanket media coverage of people brawling and panic buying in response to the fast-approaching pandemic, Mr Carey said he was “simply blown away” by the community’s response to his call for volunteers to help the city’s vulnerable elders.

“I came up with this idea because often the elderly and seniors are isolated in the community and don’t have family to help them,” Mr Carey said.

“So we did a call-out for volunteers and in less than 24 hours we had 700 people register, and now we have 1134 people.”

• John Carey hits the phones to check on his electorate’s vulnerable seniors. Photo supplied

Mr Carey said his office was calling the 1500 or so seniors on their books, and those who needed some assistance such as getting some shopping, or just someone to talk to, were allocated to a volunteer.

“All tasks can be done without physical contact and while implementing the principles of social distancing (phone calls, leaving groceries on the verandah…),” Mr Carey said.

He said while hitting the phones himself, he was also pleased to hear how many seniors were reporting that family and friends were checking up on them.

On Facebook, an “Adopt a Healthcare Worker” page has been created for Perth, teaming up members of the public with someone working on the front line of tackling Coronavirus. Adoptees can help cook up some meals for the freezer, pick up kids or “scrub their shower because it hasn’t been done in a month”.

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