Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck NZ in early 2020, a number of key leaders from local community organisations met to discuss how we could link together to form a support network during the crisis. This included the local fire chief, school principal, church pastor, and neighbourhood support contact. What started as a local Laingholm based initiative expanded to help support people in the wider West Auckland area. Community Support Waitakere was registered as a charity in 2021 and has received funding from a small number of generous personal donors as well as The Trusts and MSD. We have cooperated with many other West Auckland based food banks and had the assistance of a number of amazing volunteer drivers. Steven Price has been instrumental in coordinating and delivering much needed food parcels to over 1,500 households. Before the COVID-19 Omicron community case numbers started rising above 50 per day, thousands of adult and kids N95/KN95 masks were offered to West Auckland schools and households, The Warehouse, New World, Pak N Save, Fresh Choice, and Countdown supermarkets and distribution centres in an effort to minimize the disruption to the food supply chain. Rapid Antigen Test kits have been provided and made easier for people to access, for those who may have otherwise had difficulty getting out to source these from the standard public collection points. Free 4G broadband modems and services have been offered to ensure as many people as possible have access to broadband internet.
Unfortunately in mid July 2022 Steven suffered a near fatal Widows-Maker type heart attack after completing deliveries at night and was rushed by ambulance to Auckland Hospital for emergency life saving surgery. Thanks to the excellent St Johns ambulance crew, Auckland Hospital’s emergency and Cardiac Catheterization Lab teams, and God’s Grace, Steven managed to defy the 88% normal death rate statistics. It is now time for Steven to hand these support services over to someone else, or a team of able bodied people. The hope is that we will soon see the team expand to include a number of people by consolidating our work with another larger team of support workers.
Please link with us by letting us know what you have to offer our community but more importantly what you need help with.