Award Recipient: Preston Township Emergency Response Team

Dec 17, 2020

The Preston Township Emergency Response Team received a 2020 Nova Scotia Human Rights Award in recognition of their community-led, culturally relevant COVID-related assistance during the early months of the pandemic.

The following is a statement from the Preston Township Emergency Response Team provided by the organization's chair, Mr. Archy Beals.

"It is an honor, and it is a privilege to accept this award on behalf of the Preston Township Emergency Impact and Response Team.  We are humbled and blessed to be recognized for the work we have done and continue to do within the community that not only benefit the Township but the entire province. We want to thank whoever nominated us and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission for this award.

The Preston Township Emergency Impact and Response Team was established in March 2020 by ACCE - Arts, Community, Culture, Economics, who felt the need to mobilize the community as a result of the spread of COVID- 19 in Nova Scotia and specifically the Preston Township.   They sought the assistance of the Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative through Nova Scotia Health.  The first meeting was a Zoom meeting with a group of political, medical and community leaders and influencers and a few community organizations.  The purpose was to strategize and get the word out about the virus, it’s impact and ways to protect the residents of the Township.  Meetings were held on a regular basics. The group was then expanded to include Public Health, ABSW, HAAC and representatives of the provincial and municipal government.  With the spread of COVID-19 in the Township, the group went into high gear and requested of Public Health a Mobile Clinic in the three communities.  Mobile sites were set up in North and East Preston and Cherry Brook/Lake Loon.  Also, the Township got a mobile testing unit that went from door to door testing people in the community.  The mobile unit and the testing site were staffed by members of the community.  This made it more comfortable and easier for community residents to go for testing. 

Through the efforts and work of the ABSW and HAAC, through donations and support from the Department of Community Services, the United Way and other organizations,  food boxes, medical supplies, PPE, cleaning supplies, pamphlets on staying safe, tablets and internet access to seniors and two mask to each community member were given to each resident.   As a thank you to members of the community who adhered to Public Health guidelines and helped to stop the spread of COVID in the Township, a hot meal was provided to every Township resident prepared by Smooth Meal Prep.

It was the dedication commitment, perseverance and zest to preserve the legacy of the Township that we pay homage and gratitude to ACCE who started this work.  It is because of your leadership that we are here today and for that we thank you.

To the committee members who have taken their time to attend virtual meetings, thank you, the volunteers who have delivered grocery boxes, pamphlets, food, medical and PPE supplies, thank you and to the organizations and governmental departments who assisted in any way, thank you.  to the North End Community Health Clinic, thank you for the use of the mobile Testing centre. To ABSW and HAAC your leadership and guidance is greatly appreciated.

We also want all the residents and adherents of the Township to know that we thank you for your diligence and support in these difficult times.  When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of the magnificent Township residents who lead the hard work to make sure that we all stayed informed, educated, and safe again thank you."