|With masks now mandatory for most in Victoria when they leave their home, Emma Kealy is encouraging Wimmera residents to work together to ensure masks are available for the elderly and vulnerable.
Ms Kealy has teamed up with Arnna Pickering from local business Evoke Kinesiology, who raised the idea of developing a supply of masks that could be given to elderly and vulnerable people in Lowan communities who were unable to source one or could not afford to buy one.
Through her Facebook page on Sunday, Ms Kealy called for anyone who could make masks or donate them to reach out, with the aim of building a stock of masks that could be posted to residents in need. She said the response was amazing.
“The generosity of our communities is absolutely incredible, with many offers of support already coming in,” Ms Kealy said.
“I am so grateful to everyone who has volunteered their time and talents to make masks or to donate them to this cause – every bit of support is greatly appreciated.
“The Victorian Government has announced 2.1 million masks for the elderly and vulnerable, but we haven’t received an allocation of these masks in our region and we cannot afford to wait. Let’s do what we do best in the country and take the initiative to look after one another.
Above - Emma Kealy MP accepting donated reusable masks from Cecilia McDonald of the Bank of Melbourne.
“Our elderly residents are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and we need to make sure they are protected if they have to go out for essential services. Many older residents do not have a computer or social media to be able to keep up to date with restrictions, so I am today writing to all residents over 70 in my electorate to update them on new restrictions and offer them a free mask if they need it.”
Ms Kealy said there would be a supply of masks at her electorate office in Horsham and across communities so that masks could get to those in need quickly.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Arnna for driving this fantastic project, and to those who have already donated masks, including Bianca Inkster and Carlie Streeter at Horsham Amcal Pharmacy, Harvest Church Horsham and Horsham Church of Christ – your support is invaluable,” she said.
Ms Kealy encouraged anyone who needed a mask to contact her office on 5382 0097 or email email@example.com.
She said people who wanted to help by donating masks could contact her by phone or email, drop them at her office step at 114 Firebrace Street Horsham, or respond to her post on her Facebook page.