It's been a while since we've been in touch! Here's where we provide an update on how LINK Upper Clutha has operated through Covid times, and how we're moving forward.
LINK and Community Networks Wanaka are the two operating arms of the Alpine Community Development Trust, with different focus areas (community development and social wellbeing, respectively). Closely linked, but with our own workplans and priorities. Then Covid hit, which required undivided attention to the welfare crisis in the Queenstown Lakes District. We worked together to lead the Upper Clutha welfare response -- participating in the QLDC civil defence team and supporting residents with assistance and information. This meant everything from designing systems to accommodate over 23,000 requests from over 7500 people across the district, to providing on-the-ground practical help to Upper Clutha folk.
As we come out of response mode, LINK is now focused on recovery, back to the proactive, community-building, collaborative work that builds resilience. We are participating in both the Council-led short-term and the community-led long-term recovery workgroups at a strategic level -- focusing on all aspects of community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental, cultural). Issues like reducing unemployment, economic diversification, encouraging innovative ideas, sustainably re-setting where we can are all on the table for discussion and action.
We're also back to providing community group information and support, offering opportunities to engage and connect through Connection Cafes, and supporting events that build skill and capability across all community segments. We're back to grassroots, neighbourhood activations like community gardens, starting with some planter boxes at the Community Hub (interested? Get in touch!). Email us anytime if you need information or support with a community initiative!