14 Feb Hands go up for Whaakari/White Island response
Victim Support’s vital role in natural disaster recovery came into play immediately following the tragic Whakaari/White Island eruption. Support Workers were deployed to a cruise ship, Tauranga Hospital and a local tour company along with making visits to affected families as more details came to hand. Within 24 hours of the December 9 eruption, Victim Support had senior staff and Support Workers on the ground in Whakatane at the emergency headquarters and the Welfare Centre that had been set up at Whakatane Library.
Currently Victim Support has a large number of staff and volunteer Support Workers continuing to provide support to the Whakatane community, victims and their families around New Zealand. Support will be ongoing with coronial and workplace investigations also factors.
Lydia Allan, Victim Support’s Bay of Plenty/Eastern Area Manager says, “the impact will be felt for some time – especially in the local Whakatane area because it’s not only had a personal impact on some of the families there emotionally, but it’s affecting livelihoods as well.”
Victim Support Workers have been working tirelessly assisting the families and victims who remain in different hospitals in New Zealand as well as supporting those grieving the loss of loved ones all over the country and overseas.
“It’s highlighted how as an organisation, we can respond nationally and get support brought in. It’s a huge positive for us – how we can pull from the entire country,” says Lydia.
With many support workers already balancing large caseloads, Lydia was truly humbled by the response from all those support workers that put their hands up to help.
If you have been affected by the Whaakari/White Island eruption
GET HELP: 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846)