PMH Cares is a community led and driven program of neighbours helping neighbours, connecting those in need of a helping hand with those in their local area who are ready and willing to offer their support in the Port Macquarie-Hastings (PMH).
Borne as an idea in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 'lockdowns', PMH Cares will be an invaluable resource for those who may be considered vulnerable or at risk of social exclusion or isolation.
The intent is to build a connected community that offers stability beyond the current uncertain times, for the longer term cultural, social and mental health of the Port Macquarie-Hastings community.
PMH Cares is for members of the Port Macquarie-Hastings community who are wanting:
It's all about being connected within your neighbourhood.
Staying connected with members of our community
The current and evolving health pandemic and subsequent 'lockdowns' highlighted the challenge of staying connected with those in our community who may be considered vulnerable or at risk of social exclusion or isolation.
The program has been inspired by neighbours and neighbourhoods who came together during the 2019/2020 bushfires throughout the country as well as similar community wellbeing networks established by other Councils in NSW.
We know that the pandemic is impacting on some people in challenging ways and would appreciate some extra support from their community.
How will PMH Cares work?
PMH Cares will be community led and community driven, with the support of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
It consists of small and local groups called 'neighbourhoods' which may be set up street-by-street or as a small rural community. It's about neighbours helping neighbours, coordinated by a Neighbourhood Champion.
Learn more about neighbourhoods, neighbourhood supporters and Neighbourhood Champions.
What type of help can be provided through PMH Cares?
Examples of the sort of practical help that the program may provide include:
- picking up and delivering shopping,
- running errands,
- picking up medication from the chemist,
- posting letters,
- walking the dog, or
- tackling the weeds.
Practical help is based on what people need and what neighbourhood participants are able to assist with.
General wellbeing can also be supported, for example helping to connect people in a neighbourhood who may be house-bound with their neighbours by actively getting on the phone to have a chat, help connect people through Zoom or Skype, or just for a cuppa and a chat - while maintaining social distance.
We can share good ideas about interesting ways to stay engaged and socially connected. Our aim is that we all support our own and each others' wellbeing and stay connected during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actively supporting local businesses and sole traders across our region
We are very concerned about the economic impact of COVID-19 in our area. We must do whatever we can to help our local businesses. They are a big part of what makes our communities so great and we need them to survive.
PMH Cares is not intended to replace existing service providers who provide household service and support under various schemes like the NDIS.
The intention of PMH Cares is to bring back to life the old-fashioned values of neighbours looking out for neighbours, providing comrarderie, connection and practical support for those who may need it.
How will we stay safe and maintain physical distancing?
Strict guidelines are in place for practical help involving any out-of-the-home activities, such as shopping or errands etc. With the current and ongoing health pandemic, we all, as a community, must adhere to good hygiene practices, social distancing requirements and public gathering guidelines as they are stipulated by our State and Federal Governments and Department of Health. Control of the transmission of COVID-19 will be strictly managed, and once the Neighbourhoods are up and running there should be no direct personal contact between participants.
Support and help can be provided online and by phone – which means everyone stays safe in their own space if required.
Participating in a local Neighbourhood will be one of the ways people who are self-isolating but not sick can stay connected and engaged.
How do I register and what happens next?
You can register to join PMH Cares as a giver of support, or receiver of support via our online registration form. One your registration has been assessed, you'll be linked up with the person who is the Champion for your 'neighbourhood' or area.
Each group is self-managed. This means that your neighbourhood network for your street or rural community will decide how you work and what sort of help and contact you have with each other. We'll also be developing and providing a range of tools and resources to assist neighbourhood groups and Neighbourhood Champions and will provide this support ongoing.
Register with PMH Cares
Who set up PMH Cares?
The establishment of PMH Cares has been funded by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Once established it will be community-driven, by volunteer contributions.
Find out more information
To find out more about PMH Cares, or to discuss how else you may be able to get involved in the network, contact Council's Community Inclusion Team Leader on:
This page was last updated on: 11 June 2020