COVID-19 - Vinnies Victoria

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria found itself in an extraordinary situation. Our 165-year tradition of face-to-face, hands-on approach suddenly became an issue which needed to be refreshed due to the new government guidelines regarding limiting social contact. And that is exactly what we have done! Rest assured, we are here and we will continue to play a vital role in helping people who need it most.

Our critical services will remain true to the Society's mission, while also keeping the health and wellbeing of our members, volunteers and employees top of mind.

  • Our Welfare Call Centres are open.
  • Our Conferences are making visits to deliver food and other assistance.
  • Our Vinnies Soup Vans are operating under our new service delivery model.
  • Our Vinnies Metropolitan Shops will have a staggered opening from Wednesday 28 October. 
  • Our Vinnies NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme) team are still taking calls.
  • Our Bushfire Assistance service continues to help people impacted by Victoria's recent fires.

Yes, our services are a little different at the moment but we are still providing assistance to people and communities in need, just as we have throughout our long history in Victoria. We are here for you.

Changes to our current works are:

Conference Home Visits
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN WELFARE ASSISTANCE LINE  1800 305 330
    MONDAYS-FRIDAYS    10.00AM-3.00PM

 

 

Third Step restrictions apply across Victoria. The same restrictions apply in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.  

No change under Level 3 restrictions. No entering homes and still visiting in pairs.

Please note:

  • Vinnies will endeavour to continue services to people in need during this critical time.
  • Our Call Centre volunteers are available, Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 3.00pm.
  • Our home visit service is now being organised over the phone. 
Vinnies Soup Vans
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN WELFARE ASSISTANCE LINE  1800 305 330
    MONDAYS-FRIDAYS    10.00AM-3.00PM

 

 MELBOURNE METRO  

Despite the exciting news that Melbourne – and Melbournians – are moving out of Stage 4 restrictions, our Vinnies Soup Vans are still unable to do street stops due to social distancing restrictions. Hampers will continue to be delivered to people on request through our Welfare Assistance line on 1800 305 330 until further notice. Thank you so much for your understanding and patience.

   
 REGIONAL    No change to operations.

____________________________________________________

We are still here but the Vinnies Soup Van service has changed!

While our street runs have been suspended you can still contact us for assistance with food by calling:

Vinnies Welfare Assistance Line is 1800 305 330 (Monday–Friday 10.00am to 3.00pm).

Over the phone, we will determine your situation and make a personal arrangement of how we can reach you with these essentials. Examples of the support we can offer include food hampers for individuals and families, and food parcels for those with little or no cooking facilities.

Changes to this service are due to the government’s COVID-19 health directive to limit social contact which will reduce the risk to the people we assist and to our volunteers. 

Rest assured, that once this crisis is over, our Vannies will be back on the streets with their trademark soup and a smile.

Vinnies Shops
STATUS:   OPEN CHECK MY LOCAL SHOP  
  CHANGES TO OPERATION NEW SHOP HOURS  
  METROPOLITAN SHOPS REOPENED CHECK HOURS  
   REGIONAL MONDAYS-SATURDAYS 10:00AM-4:00PM  
  SUNDAYS CLOSED  
       
 MELBOURNE METRO  

Most of our Melbourne metro Vinnies Shops are open. Please check your local shop hours by  by searching here.

   
 REGIONAL   

Regional shops operating normally. Please check your local shop hours by searching here


DONATIONS:
We thank you all for sorting your donations during lockdown and keeping them safe. Vinnies Shops will be gratefully accepting donations, which will need to be quarantined. In some cases we may need to temporarily cease accepting donations as we are anticipating a high demand and our volunteer-run teams will need time to sort through donations safely.

SHOPPING SAFELY:
To assure the health and safety of all our loyal customer and volunteers, we have COVID Safe plans with hand sanitiser, sneeze screens at our service counters, socially-distancing floor stickers and a maximum capacity at each of our Vinnies Shops. As per the Victorian Government directive all people entering our shops over the age of 12 will be required to wear masks (unless you have a lawful reason not to).

Every second change room will be open.

You can still visit our eBay store.

We thank you for your understanding. Our volunteers are ready and waiting to safely welcome you back through our doors.

Remember: It is through your generous donation of goods and finances that we are able to provide our services. We do not receive any government financial assistance. 

 

Welfare Call Centres
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN WELFARE ASSISTANCE LINE  1800 305 330
    MONDAYS-FRIDAYS    10.00AM-3.00PM

 

 MELBOURNE METRO  

Box Hill Call Centre continues to operate with a remote operating model. Opening times, number and service remains the same – Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 3.00pm
CALL 1800 305 330

   
 REGIONAL    No change under Level 3 restrictions.


Please note:

  • Our volunteers are continuing to man the Welfare Assistance Line but be aware that greater waiting times might be experienced. 
  • Health questions will be asked at the time of the call.
  • Rest assured, that once this crisis is over, our services will be back to normal.
Assistance Centres
STATUS:   SERVICE CHANGED Interviews are to be arranged on
an appointment-only basis.
 
       
 MELBOURNE METRO  

Remain closed.

   
 REGIONAL   

Remain closed or operating as a modified service.

 

Bushfire Assistance
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN   CALL 13 18 12

 

 MELBOURNE METRO   No change - Call centre remains remote on 13 18 12
   
REGIONAL    No change – remains a member assessment by phone
Vinnies NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme)
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN PHONE INTERVIEWS 03 5229 8829
       
 MELBOURNE METRO  

No change – remains a phone service 03 5229 8829

   
 REGIONAL    No change – remains a phone service 03 5229 8829


The Vinnies NILS team are here to help if you need a safe, fair and affordable credit alternative to purchase goods or services that will improve quality of life for individuals and families on low incomes.

Phone interviews will be conducted or you can visit https://www.vinniesnils.org.au/ for further information.

Changes to this service are due to the government’s COVID-19 health directive to limit social contact which will reduce the risk to people we assist and to our volunteers.

Rest assured, that once this crisis is over, our services will be back to normal.

Material Assistance
STATUS:   SERVICE OPEN   CALL 13 18 12

 

Education Programs
STATUS:   SERVICE ONLINE EMAIL US TO JOIN linette.etheredge@svdp-vic.org.au

 

 MELBOURNE METRO   No change – remains an online offering only.
   
REGIONAL    No change – remains an online offering only.


We are still here, but our Vinnies Education Programs have changed.

All our Education Programs are running via zoom with primary, secondary and VCE programs running on both Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5pm.

Each week we will offer you six activities, we will ask you to send us something and then we will finish with a song. Most activities will have links to online videos to help and guide you along.

If you and your children would like to receive our education activities online each Wednesday please email linette.etheredge@svdp-vic.org.au and the education team leader will add your name to the email list.

Changes to this service are due to the government’s COVID-19 health directive to limit social contact which will reduce the risk to people we assist and to our volunteers. 

We hope to resume our normal programs in 2021.

Youth Services
STATUS:   SERVICES ON HOLD QUERIES YOUTH@SVDP-VIC.ORG.AU
      SCHOOLS@SVDP-VIC.ORG.AU

 

 

School workshops, services and programs are also currently on hold. We are being adaptable with the changes and are pleased to offer Skype sessions for interested schools. 

Want us to host your next Mini Vinnies virtually? Or run through a Vinnies workshop? Please contact the Youth Engagement Team to book in a session via schools@svdp-vic.org.au

We anticipate a return (Teen Camps, Kids Day Out, College Open Day and Roadshow) will be back to normal.

Should you have any queries at this time please contact the Youth Engagement Team via youth@svdp-vic.org.au

Prison Visitation
STATUS:   TEMPORARY HALTING AND
  STOPPING OF SOME SERVICES

 

  • Prison face-to-face visits to cease.