Helping the Central Coast Community through COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has caused major upheaval to many aspects of life. For Vinnies, the number one priority has been ensuring we are there to support vulnerable members of our local communities who come to us for help in hard times.
During initial COVID-19 restrictions, our Vinnies office in Wyong was the only community organisation still open in the local area. After an initial period of quiet, our Client Support Officer, Bradley Dingle, found a steady increase in locals calling for help. These ranged from people escaping domestic violence, facing homelessness or rising mental health concerns to people who have suddenly found themselves without a job, waiting to be connected with a Centrelink payment.
“I’m most concerned for the community members that are homeless, including people couch-surfing or without stable accommodation and forced to sleep outside, as well as women, men and children living in a DV situation” Bradley explained, “I’m also worried for people over 70 years old, with health conditions, or without support networks who are now totally isolated.”
Client Support Officers have a key role in helping connect local people who need a hand in hard times with the right support. Bradley has been especially busy, as most volunteers and members within the Central Coast region, who help field calls and make home visits to those in need, have been asked to to stay home and keep safe during this time. As a frontline worker, Bradley is aware of the risk he takes going into work, yet determined to continue this essential service for those who need his help.
“I thoroughly enjoy my role helping and supporting my local community in times of need” Bradley says, “I actually wouldn’t want to be isolated and at home, as I am here in my role to assist the community, especially in tough and challenging times.”
“I would like the local community to know that Vinnies is still open and more than happy to assist any community member in need of support.”
We respond to individual circumstances to provide assistance, some of the ways we provide support include paying bills to help people stay in their homes or keep the lights on, supplying care packs of food and essentials and providing emergency accommodation.
As restrictions begin to ease, and businesses are able to flourish again, we are hopeful this will start to alleviate some of the immediate issues faced by the local Central Coast community. No matter what our future brings, we will be here to support those who need it through this crisis.
Anyone in need of assistance is welcome to give us a call on 13 18 12. If you’d like to help support those who need us right now, make a donation today.