Virtual Visitation Program

It goes without saying that we are all having major withdrawals as we miss seeing our teams (both local and NRL) take the field each week. It almost made it worse that we got two wonderful rounds of first grade footy to remind us what we had been missing all pre-season only to have the season abruptly postponed. For the NRL teams at least there may be hope of a return to play with the announcement of May 28 th as the date, we shall all have to wait and see what unfolds.

The fields and stadia are the places we gather and there is no doubt we are missing that weekly opportunity, however all of us know that rugby league is more than just a game. Its who we are. No wretched virus or social distancing will change that. The rugby league family is like no other, and when times are tough, it’s the connection through our great game that keeps us strong and ensures no one is left behind.

That’s why when it became clear that it was no longer safe to have our volunteer army of Wellbeing Officers visiting people in their homes, hospitals and aged care facilities we knew that the Foundation couldn’t take a step back, we had to step up.

The in-person visits were suspended, but within a week the Wellbeing staff and volunteers had regrouped, problem-solved and planned to ensure that for the remainder of this crisis we would be physically distant but socially connected. The Foundation launched its Virtual Visitation program and the program has been very well received by community member across the country. Connecting through a range of technologies including home phone, Facetime and Zoom, the Wellbeing Officers began making contacting.

Since the launch, Wellbeing Officers have received heart-warming responses, with those who received the Virtual Visits buoyed by the fact that in all the chaos they had not been forgotten about. The Wellbeing Officers meet virtually each week to debrief the calls and report that they also feel their spirits lift when they connect with rugby league family members, particularly those doing it tough.

Take care, stay safe, take no unnecessary risks and if you are feeling alone please reach out for help. If you or someone you know would like a Virtual Visit, email wellbeing@menofleague.com or call (02) 8756 7184 .

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