Responding to COVID-19 and increasing support for our community partners

 

By Linn Araboglos, Manager, Vodafone NZ Foundation

As New Zealand grapples with the impacts of COVID-19 we are aware of the increased pressure this may be having on our community partners on the wellbeing of the rangatahi we serve.

We’re hearing that demand for services has increased as our community partners continue to support our most disadvantaged young people, those who are sleeping rough or don’t have a safe place to go to.

We understand that things are changing quickly, for example, people may need to work remotely, may have reduced staff capacity, fundraising events may be cancelled and community partners may be experiencing other unexpected costs or disruptions. We’ve been thinking about what we can do to support our community partners during these rapidly changing times.

In response, here is what the Vodafone NZ Foundation has been doing as COVID-19 continues to evolve:

  • We are checking in with and listening to our community partners to understand their needs right now and exploring additional avenues where we can provide support.
  • We are mobilising additional resources for the community partners we work with to support them to continue serving and responding to rangatahi in their community – this includes providing additional and emergency funding for our currently funded community partners to support them with costs and resilience so that they can continue to deliver key services for young people.
  • We are making practical changes to the way we support our partners – such as exploring flexible arrangements with current funding, reporting requirements and re-prioritising funds to meet community need.

More broadly, Vodafone New Zealand is offering a COVID-19 Care plan to customers. The plan includes:

  • Broadband data certainty. The removal of data caps from data-capped Broadband plans for consumers and small to medium sized businesses until at least the end of June 2020
  • Mobile data certainty. Eligible Consumer Pay Monthly mobile customers with data-caps to be actively encouraged towards Endless Data plans (which also include endless texts and minutes to AU and NZ numbers)
  • No Covid-19 related disconnections or late fees. Temporary measures to protect customers in financial hardship from Covid-19 over at least the next six months.
  • Worry-free remote learning for all. Helping families by zero rating Government guided education and health sites to support responses to Covid-19.
  • Ensuring capacity. Vodafone NZ has added extra capacity to fixed, broadband and mobile networks to cope with the extra demand as more people work from home and we will actively monitor network performance

With most – if not all – organisations implementing working from home at mass-scale, here’s some guidance from Vodafone NZ HR Director, Katie Williams, on how to set your organisation up for remote working.

For further support and information on Vodafone’s response to COVID-19, please head to https://www.vodafone.co.nz/covid19

Kia kaha everyone.