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Council staff deployed to support community service providers

Council staff deployed to support community service providers

Friday, June 05, 2020

Council staff have delivered more than 200 hours of assistance to community service providers, bolstering their support to vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Belgin Besim Director Community Services said Council is supporting the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network by providing financial and in-kind support to distribute food and essential services through its emergency relief process.

“Staff who have had their hours cut back due to COVID-19 restrictions have been deployed to Encompass Care Vic, Big Group Hug, From Us 2 You, Creeds Farm Living and Learning Centre and Whittlesea Community Connections,” Ms Besim said.

“So far, they have completed more than 800 welfare calls, sent more than 100 welfare emails, and helped deliver almost 300 food hampers to families in need. The support is ongoing.”

Katelyn Stanyer a Council Community Development Officer said it was a humbling experience to be deployed to Big Group Hug, an organisation that provides material relief to vulnerable children.

“The work that we have done with them over the past month is work that would have taken them over a year to complete without our dedicated support,” Ms Stanyer said.

“I’m really proud of what we have been able to achieve, and the impacts that it will have for the families that access the support offered by Big Group Hug will be felt for some time to come.”

The deployment is just one part of Council’s pandemic response.

Council has established a $200,000 COVID-19 Community Relief Fund which is being distributed among local agencies. Council has provided $50,000 to Whittlesea Community Connections, $25,000 to Big Group Hug and $18,000 to Encompass Care Vic.

Residents and businesses also have access to a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy.