(CMR) The Needs Assessment Unit's initiative to go into communities to help vulnerable clients better access its services has been well-received following its first six district visits.
According to the unit’s Director Tamara Hurlston, the NAU assisted 41 persons in its first 24 hours of operation in its district pilot initiative.
She said teams, consisting of two persons, completed six four-hour shifts, working out of the East End Civic Centre and the North Side, Bodden Town, and West Bay Public Libraries. The officers assisted clients in filling out assessment forms and processing queries.
The six-month pilot, proposed by the Ministry of Community Affairs and Councillor Austin Harris, aims to reduce the needs of older persons, those with medical ailments, and those with mobility issues from traveling to the NAU’s main office.
The Friday walk-in service, rotating across the districts, will limit the number of vulnerable persons exposed to infection threats while accessing NAU services.
“We are happy to be able to provide access within the districts to persons who may have transportation limitations,” Hurlston said.
“Customers who have given feedback have said they appreciated the convenience of having the NAU in their district. Most cited lack of transportation as the specific reason why they had accessed the trial service,” she added.
Additionally, organizers hope that the initiative will help the NAU increase its understanding of its clients and the demands for information within the districts.
One person who attended the walk-in session at West Bay Public Library on Friday, January 29, was looking to obtain health insurance for her grandparents and great-grandparents. Another client said he was unemployed due to the pandemic and sought CINICO insurance through the NAU.
Organizers said most of those accessing the advice and support are aged 60 years old and over.
The Director said that her team would routinely evaluate the pilot's data, which closes at the end of June 2021.