The Salvation Army has sent 10 counsellors and social workers to Christchurch to help residents traumatised by Saturday’s quake and its aftershocks.
Salvation Army spokesman Major Robbie Ross says the Army has also secured warehousing and refrigeration facilities to step up its provision of food parcels to those in urgent need.
Salvation Army Community Ministries Secretary Ian Hutson says the counsellors and social workers will be located at the emergency welfare centres at Addington and Linwood, where The Salvation Army is already working. Some may also bolster social workers already working at Salvation Army Community Ministries centres. They will work in conjunction with Christchurch mental health services.
“Some people will simply want to vent their emotions, but for many, the full emotional impact may not surface for weeks or months,” Major Hutson says.
The first group of counsellors will be in the city for a week.
“Once we’ve assessed the need for these services, we will know what other resources need to be added,” Major Hutson says.
Counsellors and social workers from Salvation Army centres across New Zealand and Australia will be available if demand dictates, he says.
Meanwhile, The Salvation Army is starting to channel food and goods provided by New Zealand companies to its food banks, as demand for food and personal care products climbs.
Major Ross says distribution will be through The Salvation Army’s network of Community Ministry centres.
The Salvation Army’s Hope Centre in the central business district is closed. Residents in central Christchurch requiring food parcels or other assistance should go to, or contact, The Salvation Army’s Linwood Community Ministries centre at 177 Linwood Avenue.
Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Donald Bell (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory
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