Reflecting on a year with Brothers in Need

Across Australia, millions of people are affected by Covid-19 and as it currently stands, the path to a return to normalcy is unclear. Masco Group has been saddened by the recent lockdown of the state – primarily because it most devastatingly affects those who have already been forgotten by the system. They are the homeless, the disadvantaged and those with special needs, living permanently away from family. Organisations like Brothers in Need who regularly help such people have had a large part of their activities come to a halt due to the restrictions in place. 

Those with disabilities face barriers to stay “covid safe”, social distancing and face barriers can be a difficult or impossible task,  increasing the risk of transmission. Emerging research on Covid-19 shows that the coronavirus pandemic has increased psychological distress both in the general population and among high-risk groups. Behaviours such as physical distancing, as well as their social and economic impacts, are worsening mental health consequences.

Our homeless community faces all of the above and an even greater risk – they were reliant on the work of volunteers to provide their next meal. Now they struggle to survive with little shelter, barely any support and almost no food. 

We have been passionately working with Brothers in Need, a young NFP, over the past year to help serve these individuals – those who are experiencing poverty and homelessness with care, dignity and respect. This latest COVID outbreak has unfortunately put a halt to our plans. To date, we have been fortunate to assist with:

  • Supporting the most vulnerable in our community by visiting My Home Disability Services centre in Birrong back in April. We visited our friends to socialise, enjoy lunch together, share delicious treats and create precious memories.
  • We took part in the Brothers In Need’s Soup Kitchen Program, cooking up lots of chicken schnitzel (with delicious roasted side dishes) and rice pudding, which were then distributed to members of our homeless community.
  • We joined the Brothers in Need team in November to host a barbecue for the homeless, and others who needed the help, at Martin Place.

We have never witnessed a time quite like what we’ve seen in the past year and a half. The disadvantaged require our aid more than ever during this pandemic but unfortunately we cannot provide it at this time. We truly hope that the worst of the pandemic passes soon so that this important work can continue.

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