Redeployed staff offer helping hand


Tate Papworth

Brimbank council staff members may not be able to carry out their normal jobs, but that hasn’t stopped them lending a helping hand.

With the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions, many council-operated facilities such as leisure centres were forced to close, leaving staff in limbo.

But rather than stand down the employees, the council has redeployed them.

Since mid-April, 18 council leisure centre staff have taken on alternative duties including delivering meals and parks and maintenance to help meet the demand for these services.

It’s been much-needed assistance. Since April, council’s meals on wheels service delivered more than 5880 meals – more than double what was delivered to homes during the same month last year.

The meals were sent out to older people and people with disability that were required to self-isolate to stay safe during this health emergency.

For 86-year-old St Albans resident Richard Turner, carrying on during COVID-19 has been a lot less stressful thanks to his weekly delivery.

“I’m looked after pretty well. I get four meals a week, 95 per cent of them are great, and home help each fortnight from council,” he said.

“I do miss seeing my family. But we keep in touch on the phone a lot. When I go out, I keep to myself. If I go out anywhere I try to keep away from other people.”