In This Together Street Captains

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In This Together is here to coordinate volunteer support within the community in times of crisis. A crisis may take a number of forms:

  • a slow-moving crisis such as a pandemic as seen with COVID-19 in 2020
  • a faster-moving pandemic
  • a natural disaster such as an earthquake or cyclone that poses an immediate threat to the safety and health of our community, or
  • an event that affects the supply of essential services such as electricity, water or food into the community.

No matter the type of crisis, effective communication is the key to success. In some situations access to ‘traditional’ forms of communication such as the internet may be limited or non-existent. There are also members of every community that do not have ready access to the internet, and it is this group who may be most at risk during a crisis. 

Communication Strategy

In This Together’s communication strategy is centred around a network of Street Captains. Street Captains will be responsible for coordinating non-electronic communication during a crisis. Street Captains are people who will be able to:

  • Support In This Together’s work in coordinating volunteer resources in response to a crisis
  • Go door-to-door in the event of a crisis to speak to householders and identify immediate and short-term needs
  • Liaise with Neighbourhood Support street coordinators to develop an understanding of householders and potential needs.

Implementation Plan

In This Together is implementing this strategy whilst the crisis presented by COVID-19 in is full effect. We aim to:

  • Develop a set of well-defined areas within our town
  • Identify Street Captains and assign them to each area
  • Commence a process of door-knocking to identify households in need.
Street Captains should note that their role is primarily focused on cataloguing households within their area and reaching out to make contact with each household to make them aware of the assistance that can be provided by In This Together. The actual support to be provided to each household will be coordinated by the In This Together Control Centre. 

Am I suited to this role?

In This Together understands that across our community there are people with many and varied skills that want to support those in need. The role of Street Captain is critical, especially in responding to a crisis where communication lines are cut. This role is not about providing hands-on emotional or physical support to those in need. This role is all about being the link in the communication chain between official agencies such as Civil Defence, community groups such as Food Banks and churches, and the community. Imagine that a cyclone or major storm has passed through our community and many houses have been damaged. The wind is howling and the rain is falling sideways. Can you imagine putting on the gumboots and raincoat to knock on the doors of your neighbours? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then we would like to hear from you.,

How does this fit with Neighbourhood Support and Civil Defence?

In This Together is very much in the early stages of planning and implementation. Once the current crisis has passed, further discussions will take place with other organisations to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. This is to ensure that groups across the community are integrated in their activities and that the work of each supports the others. As this plan rolls out we expect that in some cases a community member will perform both the role of Neighbour Support Street Coordinator and In This Together Street Captain.

To express interest in becoming a Street Captain, please email captains@inthistogether.org.nz

supporting our community in times of crisis...

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