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Supporting our vulnerable community

Supporting our vulnerable community

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The City of Whittlesea has announced its next stage of COVID-19 relief and support, focusing on the most vulnerable people living in the community.

Following last week’s commitment of $50,000 for Whittlesea Community Connections, a further $150,000 has been made available for other non-government agencies that provide direct support to individuals and families living in the City.

Administrator Lydia Wilson said by providing agencies that have a core focus on delivering food and other immediate needs with funds, we are all helping each other.

“The City of Whittlesea has made funds available to organisations on the front-line of delivering basic necessities that will make a difference to individuals and families right now,” she said.

“We are rolling out our support and relief initiatives as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and we understand more about the impacts on our community; there will be more to come.”

Further support for vulnerable groups includes:

  • Data SIM cards for enhanced maternal and child health clients to access online appointments and other support
  • Distraction packs for our Aboriginal community focused on mindfulness, mental health, family games and gardening
  • Information and support to residents with disabilities and carers, including changes to NDIS and service delivery activities
  • Translated Council information for our multicultural communities
  • Remote support program for vulnerable families
  • An outreach program for isolated groups and individuals in partnership with local support agencies.

“This support builds on our COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy announced last week that provides for payment plans to be entered into for rates, charges and fees, and we’ll consider deferrals for those in serious hardship,” Ms Wilson said.

“Our support complements the initiatives being rolled out by the Australian and Victorian governments. This is to ensure our rate-payer dollars are directed to where the gaps are, while balancing the need to continue delivering essential and valued services to the whole community.”

The City of Whittlesea has also added to its support for local businesses. Extra mentoring sessions were announced last week, and Council has now included educational webinars, a business development program and shop local initiatives that amounts to an initial $90,000 of support.

“We continue to work with local businesses, sporting clubs and other community groups affected by COVID-19 and expect to announce more support initiatives soon,” Ms Wilson said.