Statement prepared by Jean Sergent-Shadbolt
March 19 2020
It is with enormous disappointment that InsideOUT has to announce the cancellation of our upcoming Shift Hui.
While we are disappointed, it is the right decision given the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as Shift is a gathering with very close prolonged contact it would be too risky to go ahead.
We are working behind the scenes to see what we can come up with to offer an online mini hui. Watch this space for more information.
Any rangatahi who have already booked travel to come to the hui are encouraged to seek a refund from the bus, train, or airline company involved. InsideOUT will provide any written support for these claims that is needed.
The most important part of Shift Hui is the friendships and connections it creates. Young people who are part of the Shift Hui community are encouraged to reach out to each other to process this decision and keep those friendships strong. You’re welcome to use this group as a space to connect further with each other.
At this point it is unlikely we will be able to postpone Shift to later in the year, but should this happen we will let you know as soon as we can. We definitely anticipate Shift Hui will return in 2021, and rangatahi who applied this year will be given priority to attend.
More to follow regarding the digital hui, and you are welcome to share any ideas you have regarding this with us.
In the meantime, we encourage you to think about how you can look after your mental health and be a support to those around you. We know the situation with COVID-19 is causing a lot of stress and anxiety for many people, and it’s important to stay connected, informed from valid sources and to be taking care of ourselves the best we can. A reminder that you can free call or text 1737 at any time to speak with a trained counsellor – it’s free and confidential. Similarly you can call 0800 OUTLINE between 6-9pm any day to speak to a volunteer counsellor from the rainbow community. More information is available here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19
Jean, Tabby and the InsideOUT Board