COVID-19: A Message from our Acting CEO, Sasha Lawrence, and Chairman, Anthony Klein

Dear Reach Supporters,

Like the majority of the world, we have been monitoring the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic and working on how we respond over the coming months. The health and wellbeing of our people and participants is of utmost importance. So we will make programming decisions based on directives from government and health authorities.

While schools remain open, we will continue to run our small-scale workshops. However, for the foreseeable future, our large-scale programs and events will be postponed. This is ironic because our programs are needed now more than ever, and the four million young people living in Australia need spaces to connect and make sense of the abnormal events happening around them. In running any ongoing programs in the days ahead, Reach will be focused on ensuring that the safety of our crew, staff and participants is paramount at all times. We will continue to monitor and respond following guidance from the respective authorities.  Click here for more information.

Whilst this pandemic unfolds, the issues and challenges that young people face every day continue to exist.  Anxiety, depression, bullying and disengagement from community and school (to name a few) don’t just disappear. In some cases, these phenomena actually increase when people lose the security of their routines and when communities and support networks become physically separated.  So, please check-in with the young people in your life. Stress related to COVID-19 can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed; and can contribute to how we respond to and care for ourselves and others.  While social isolation and distancing are recommended to help contain the spread, our day to day lives are disrupted and our social contact is reduced.  Many young people have also been indirectly impacted by COVID-19 through mainstream media and social media, or knowing someone who has been adversely affected.  Research shows the living conditions associated with responding to pandemic disasters can be experienced as frightening and traumatic, which may have ongoing impacts on wellbeing. Click here to read some tips on how to support each other in relation to this pandemic.

COVID-19, following the bushfire crisis, will have a significant impact on our organisation and others in the sector. Whilst we work on business continuity plans, we also continue to play a role in supporting young people and our communities. And so, if you have the means to do so we ask you to consider supporting the causes you love – whether that be Reach or other organisations.  As many of you know, all our programs are run by young people.  Over the coming months there is likely to be a decrease in workshop delivery depending on directives from government departments.  This will significantly impact our workforce.  We have a talented group of facilitators, who are highly skilled and experienced in working with young people.  They can play a critical role in supporting our communities over the coming months.  If you have any (casual) work opportunities to leverage the skill and talent of our Crew, please get in contact!

Only a couple of months ago we witnessed the best in humanity as our country responded to the bushfire crisis.  Despite the initial chaos of toilet paper hoarding, we’re confident that the Australia we’re proud to live in can overcome this challenge by all of us banding together to solve the problems at hand.  

We are already starting to see that incredibly beautiful human spirit coming to the surface again.

We encourage you to continue to be the best version of yourself in the coming months, as you look out for yourself and those around you.

Lots of love,
The team at Reach!