Although COVID-19 has thrown The Hub Maitland and Cessnock many challenges, it goes without saying that staff  and participants have pulled together and remained positive and energised during this time.

Although services have adapted in line with the social standards, and most importantly to ensure the safety and health of staff and participants, it is far from doom and gloom at The Hub! Rather, there are some exciting new opportunities and constructive changes.

To spread a little positivity and happiness, here is a list of the top positive changes, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from staff and participants of The Hub;

  1. Following strict social distancing standards has ensured some one-to-one supports can be delivered with participants.  This has helped maintain social connection and routine.
  2. Online support opportunities (using Zoom) has meant participants can continue their learning from home.
  3. Participants who had previously struggled to attend scheduled support times are enjoying the flexible online supports from home.
  4. Digital supports means staff and participants are maintaining social connection and continue to forge positive relationships.
  5. Some participants who had previously experienced anxiety from changing their surroundings are benefiting from participating in digital supports from the security and comfort of their home.
  6. Staff have embraced the opportunity to work on a mini-makeover at The Hub without interrupting services. The space’s refresh ensures a safe (but still fun and engaging) space in preparation for participants’ return to services on-site.
  7. Staff have also taken the opportunity to develop a new-look schedule for The Hub’s many activities, with exciting opportunities that will adapt to social distancing for the future.
  8. The new-look space and activity schedule has inspired staff to plan for some exciting future projects and potential grant opportunities to make The Hub even better!
  9. The Hub Cessnock staff are continuing to plan exciting activities and events for delivery from the new Mai-Wel space in Cessnock. We can’t wait to open the doors for you all the see.
  10. The JobKeeper Payment has allowed The Hub’s staff to participate in the planning and admin of new projects, which has had great impacts on the team.

Participant of The Hub, Zac, says he has benefited from the modified supports he’s been receiving during this time.

“I have noticed with normality going out the window, being able to continue receiving one-on-one support with Zachary has encouraged me to spend my time self-reflecting and has helped me continue with my journey on being happier, healthier and more confident within myself.

I have enjoyed doing multiple cardio exercises and physical activities, such as shooting some hoops and playing some baseball!

To sum up how my time is being used during this pandemic, it has been put to the best use.”

The Hub has a phased approach to reinstating supports, and it will look a bit different to before. As Mai-Wel’s first and foremost priority is the safety of all staff and participants, all Mai-Wel supports, including but not limited to The Hub, will be guided by the advice of health authorities.

A big thank you to Katrina, Manager of The Hub, for putting together this story for us.

“As the Manager of The Hub, I couldn’t be more proud of the staff for the way they have displayed resilience, patience, commitment and team mateship, as we have ventured through this journey together,” says Katrina.