Annual Report 2022-2023

Hauora – Support in Times of Crisis

If there is one thing the Adults and Seniors Facilitators are good at, it is supporting people in times of crisis.

This was evident during the time of the 2023 floods, and the effects that followed due to Cyclone Gabrielle. The initial response was to use technology to text and video call as many Service Users and members of the Deaf community as possible, to make them aware of the worsening situation.

We informed them where to access information in NZSL such as Deaf Aotearoa website, Deaf Aotearoa social media channels and NZSL translations from Civil Defence and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). NZSL interpreters were on TV for emergency updates. We provided advice for those who need to find a place of safety, either with family, neighbours, or evacuation centres.

Adults & Seniors Team Leader Joy, and Facilitators, Kerry and Pia, supported Deaf community members during Auckland flooding and some went to South Auckland Community Hub to make sure that Deaf people had access to the supports agencies and the services available including temporary accommodation, bedding, clothing, food parcels and emergency relief.

Adults & Seniors Facilitator, Lee Bullivant, based in Hawkes Bay worked closely with the local Emergency Services and Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Civil Defence. Lee brought the emergency support agencies into the heart of the community at the Hawkes Bay Deaf Club to access different agencies in one place and to pick up essential supplies such as gas, water, and toiletries.

Similar efforts were made across all the affected areas with Facilitators making connections with Deaf people to support them in completing insurance claim forms, applying for emergency relief and food packages, and offering advice on tenancy rights, regarding the responsibility of Landlords including clean up and reduced rent.

The devastation and loss felt by many who had lost homes, possessions, and even pets, amongst other things, resulted in Facilitators making referrals for trauma /grief counselling, some of which is still ongoing.

The effects of the flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle will be felt for a long time to come, as people begin to come to terms and start to rebuild their lives and Adults & Seniors service at Deaf Aotearoa will be willing and ready to support those who want it.

Community Feedback:

“Thank you for all your help and support sorting these. They are making my life a lot less stressful, and I’m sleeping & relaxed more.”

“Thank you so much for all your support. Very much needed in our community.”

“Thank you for supporting me, I didn’t know where to start or what to do until you came to see me.”

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