Families in need will receive a boost thanks to a partnership between the City of Whittlesea and Bundoora community relief agency Big Group Hug.
Council has provided $25,000 from its COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to Big Group Hug.
In addition, Council is providing a part-time staff member to support the agency in its emergency response to the pandemic.
Big Group Hug provides material relief to around 100 vulnerable children each week. It relies on volunteer help, donations and community fundraising, all of which have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Whittlesea Acting CEO Joe Carbone, who visited the Big Group Hug headquarters in Bundoora today, said Council was pleased to support local agencies.
“Our Community Relief Fund was developed to help groups in our community who are already doing a fantastic job providing much needed support,” he said.
“We are pleased to be able to help Big Group Hug with some financial and resource support to ensure the important work they do in our community can continue.
“This is one of the important roles Council has; to partner with community organisations and help them deliver what our community needs.”
Big Group Hug’s Angela Wood said raising children was a rewarding but expensive job.
“Big Group Hug offers, free of charge, essentials to families in need. Sadly, at a time when our organisation was needed more than ever due to COVID-19, our capacity to help was limited because of a lack of donations due to Victoria’s necessary shutdown,” she said.
“We have only been able to provide goods for critical cases- the majority fleeing family violence. Just this week we gave away our last packet of extra-large nappies to a 5-year-old child with a disability, barely enough to cover one day.”
As an unfunded organisation that is run by volunteers, Big Group Hug relies on the generosity of the community to support families.
“Thanks to the funds so quickly and generously provided by Whittlesea Council, we will now be able to meet the material aid needs of emergency cases such as these as well as many, many more children experiencing hardship,” Angela said.
This funding will go directly to providing for children and we thank Council for collaborating with us to continue to tackle child poverty.”
The $25,000 funding is part of Council’s $200,000 commitment to non-government agencies under its Pandemic Relief Action Plan, and part of its broader community relief effort.
Council has also provided $50,000 to Whittlesea Community Connections.
Watch our video below about Big Group Hug.