January 26, 2021

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Community/ Conversations with Heather Taylor of Mossman Support Services

4 min read
Mossman Support Services recently welcomed a new manager Heather Taylor on board. Enjoy today's chat with Heather, and catch up with the latest happenings at your local community centre. Heather joined the team in March, and little more than a week later, COVID-19 forced the closure of the Centre at a time when community needs remained high, and grew even more.
heather taylor

Mossman Support Services recently welcomed a new manager Heather Taylor on board. Enjoy today’s chat with Heather, and catch up with the latest happenings at your local community centre.
Heather joined the team in March, and little more than a week later, COVID-19 forced the closure of the Centre at a time when community needs remained high, and grew even more.


Tell us a little more about yourself Heather.


I have lived in the Douglas Shire for over 25 years, and have spent a a lot of this time spent Managing Early Childhood Services and raising two amazing boys with my husband. Prior to joining Mossman Support Services, I worked in Human Resources at the Mossman Gorge Centre.

Please share with our readers what it is that Mossman Support Services does in the community?

We are here to support a healthy local community that reflects and supports dignity, equality and inclusion of all people.   Our Mission is to strengthen our community by delivering a diverse range of quality human services to improve opportunities and to empower people to reach their full potential. 

Douglas Shire Community Services Association Ltd is a not-for-profit regional community organisation who provide services, programs and activities for people in the Douglas and Cook Shires. The staff and volunteers of DSCSA Ltd strive to build a community that cares and supports the vulnerable and disadvantaged, by providing services for those in need. 

How did Mossman Support Services manage through the COVID-19 lockdown?

During lockdown, Mossman Support Services continued to provide all current support services including Emergency Relief, Community Connect, Youth Support, and Intensive Family Support and Disability Support. They all looked a little different to normal though!

How did your team manage to deliver those essential services?


Staff created ongoing communication via phone, Skype and Zoom throughout lockdown to provide consistent ongoing information and support systems.

Regular food and essential parcel drops to individual homes were carried out using physical distancing and hygiene strategies and people needing services face to face were met outside by appointment using the same strategies as during food drops.

Face-to-face meetings were required for things such as assisting people getting required ID organised to register to centre link for the first time, support and referral for domestic and mental health issues and many other concerns that people were needing assistance with.


What an extraordinary few weeks for you Heather. That your team so nimbly responded to the demands of the COVID-19 lockdown is a credit to the Service.


A lot of the work done at Mossman Support Services is ‘invisible’ as due to dignity and respect of our clients and the insurmountable workload of staff, staff tend to quietly and efficiently support the wide and varied needs of the community without fanfare and photos.  


We really do want people to know we are here and the services we provide, not only for if they are in need but if they would like to join one of our programs or volunteer to be part of our team.

Now that restrictions are relaxing a little, how is the Centre forging ahead?


It is fantastic to be able to open the service up to some of our wonderful programs again including The Men’s Shed, our Art Group and the amazing Garden Project.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

We are lucky to have a diverse and knowledgeable staff, volunteers and Board of Directors who have been resilient, resourceful and flexible over this time to ensure our services not only continued throughout, but continued to develop to meet the changing needs of our community.
We are now trying to plan for the future unknown and the needs that may arise, while still focussing on the current services and programs we continue to have running.

If you would like to get involved, our AGM is scheduled for Thursday 22nd October, 2020 at 3:00pm. The meeting will be held in The Hub at Mossman Support Services. Please RSVP attendance by Monday 19th October to admin@dscsa.org.au.

We are always seeking new members for the organisation, both general members and those who wish to volunteer as a Director on the Board. If you or someone you know has skills / experience / an interest in becoming a member, please put them in touch with me and we can organise the relevant application paperwork. Don’t forget that membership renewals are also now due, if you have not yet done so please complete the renewal form and either bring it along to the AGM with your membership fee ($5), or pop in to the Centre prior to October 22, 2020.


FURTHER INFORMATION

WEB https://www.mossmansupportservices.org.au/

ADDRESS 20 Mill St, Mossman, Qld 4873.

TELEPHONE   07 40 98 2836
FAX   07 40 98 1212

MAIL      PO Box 682, Mossman Qld 4873
EMAIL manager@dscsa.org.au

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/mossmansupportservices/