Assistance is just the ticket

By David Rak

This story – and all stories on our Facebook and websites connected with coronavirus – is free to read as part of the Seymour Telegraph commitment to community health and safety.

State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has launched a new initiative to encourage people to look out for older and vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Ryan has developed a neighbourhood assistance card which she is encouraging people to fill out and drop in the letterbox of someone who might need help.

The assistance card asks people to write their contact details and a list of jobs they can assist someone in the neighbourhood with while they are in self-isolation, like picking up urgent supplies or posting mail.

“Often the message tree in our own community works better than any government database,” Ms Ryan said.

“Our communities have pulled together in wonderful ways. Violet Town is one great example, where community members got together to form Helping Hands. Dozens of volunteers have signed up to be a buddy to someone in need.

“Across the electorate, I have found lots of people want to do what they can to help others get through this time. Where no formal group has been set up, this is a very simple way all of us can offer a helping hand to someone who might need it.”

“It is absolutely critical we work together as a community to check-in with our neighbours, particularly those who are elderly and require additional support.

“Not all neighbours will have family or friends living close by who are able to help them with errands like picking up the groceries, putting out the bins or posting mail.

“Sometimes it is as simple as phoning someone to check in on them. Just being a friendly voice on the other end of the phone can make the world of difference to someone living alone during this difficult time.”

Copies of the neighbourhood assistance card will be published in local papers across the electorate. They can also be downloaded and printed from or by emailing [email protected]