Changes to our services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

20 Mar, 2020

Given the uncertainty due to the outbreak of COVID-19 we are providing this update on how the Northern Rivers Community Gateway is addressing the evolving situation.

First and foremost, the health and safety of our staff, clients, volunteers and the community are of utmost importance. We are upholding existing workplace health and safety policies and implementing additional measures to minimise risk and optimise the safety of our people. We are also regularly monitoring all communications from the Australian Government and the World Health Organisation websites on the situation to make ongoing informed decisions as the situation evolves.

Many of our clients are already experiencing a range of hardships and vulnerabilities and it is important that we maintain a strong level of support, whilst reinforcing our care of staff and volunteers.

Our staff have been briefed with safety directions issued by government authorities which we anticipate may continue to evolve over the coming weeks. Signs and sanitisers are located on entry and within our building.

We ask, and trust that our clients and visitors will also follow recommendations such as:

  • Self-isolation if you have recently travelled in the last 14 days.
  • Self-isolation if you have been in contact with a person who has travelled in the last 14 days.
  • Are unwell or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Stringent hand-washing practices.
  • Social distancing.
  • Carry out other protective measures recommended to prevent the spread of the virus.

We have increased hygiene practices in line with recommendations by regularly cleaning office surfaces throughout the day and have hand sanitizers available for your use at our reception.

Some services being delivered via zoom, skype and telephone.

NILS and Step Up interviews will be held over the telephone from Monday 23rd March 2020. Applicants are asked to send their documents via email in the first instance to

Books & Butterflies free supported playgroup in Casino is suspended for this Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice. Our playgroup coordinator will contact all participants for a telegroup check in on Monday and will discuss zoom/skype opportunities to connect ongoing.

Intake and assessment, First Step emergency relief (community hub). Appointments will continue however, please contact us for availability. Confidential open spaces have been designated to minimise contact and promote social distancing. We are looking to limit face to face interactions so if you want to access our emergency relief/intake and are self-isolating please contact us to arrange a confidential zoom, skype or telephone appointment.

Trauma counselling and case management (includes Connecting Families, Flourishing Families and Helping Hands). Appointments will continue with a focus on reducing face to face contact. If you would prefer to conduct your counselling sessions and your contact with a case manager via zoom or skype and you have internet access, please let our staff know directly or phone 66217397 or email and we will make this available.

Volunteer programs. These services are continuing however, restrictions have been placed on residential care facilities. Volunteers have been informed of changes and are implementing telephone and skype contact where available. Our volunteer coordinators are moving towards conducting all ongoing communications via telephone and zoom.

Rainbow Region Kids. These services are continuing pending advice from the Australian Department of Health.

Warruwi gambling help services are being moved to online with telephone referrals and internet options.

Given the Australian Government’s advice to practice social distancing as a risk management strategy, we are encouraging all clients who have internet and telephone access to engage with us via email, telephone, skype or zoom. Please email us on or call on 0266217397 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday to discuss.

We may update these practices in response to the evolving situation and will continue to post updates.


Jenni Beetson-Mortimer
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Rivers Community Gateway

Many tracks, one road, sustaining community.


Community Gateway is a registered charity and QIP accredited, assessed against the Quality Improvement Council Health and Community Services 7th Edition Standards.


We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work and meet, and offer our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

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