Everyday heroes play their part in coronavirus recovery
ONE local member of Queensland's Care Army hopes it is retained beyond the coronavirus pandemic after seeing how much good it can do for those in need.
Brassall resident Peter Johnstone enlisted when the State Government put out a call to mobilise Queenslanders to assist vulnerable seniors last month.
He is part of a team which has been delivering academic packs for Ipswich State High School students, who were stuck at home and couldn't access their work online.
More than 1000 Ipswich residents have signed up to the Care Army so far.
"I've always been involved in the community," Mr Johnstone said.
"I saw it as a bit of an extension of being a good community member.
"My mother is 88 and she lives down towards the Gold Coast. Her neighbours have been very good to her.
"I thought about the other people in the same boat. Who is looking after them?"
Mr Johnstone said he had enjoyed his time delivering the packs once a week.
"It's a bloody good way to use the Care Army," he said.
"To save the teachers having to do it. I'm in a group of 10 who have been doing it.
"I've been working from home when I can. We haven't been impacted health wise. We're grateful for that."
He encouraged others to sign up and get involved.
"I think anybody who is able to join the Care Army should," he said.
"It's a great way to be able to be involved in the recovery process.
"I call on the government to continue the Care Army in the future, not just let it go.
"Who knows what's going to happen in the future.
"It'd be a shame to see such a good idea just stop."
Ipswich West Jim Madden MP said community spirit was on full display.
More than 28,500 Queenslanders have signed up so far.
"If you ever doubt whether there's still good in the world, just look at the Care Army," he said.
"Our community will make it through the events of COVID-19 by looking after each other and working together.
"I'm thrilled to see such a positive response to an initiative making a real difference to peoples' lives."
Seniors Minister Coralee O'Rourke said more than 100,000 outbound phone calls have been made to seniors across the state to find out how they are going and ask if the Care Army can assist during the pandemic.
Queensland seniors who don't have an existing support network can continue to contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.
To sign up for the Care Army, visit here.