More council help

THE City of Whittlesea will pour another $150,000 into non-government agencies to help support people as part of its COVID-19 relief and support.

The council’s announcement of its next stage of support, focusing on the most vulnerable people living in the community, follows its ealier commitment of $50,000 for Whittlesea Community Connections.

The $150,000 has been made available for other agencies that provide direct support to individuals and families living in the City of Whittlesea.

Administrator Lydia Wilson said by providing agencies that had a core focus on delivering food and other immediate needs with funds, the organisations were ‘all helping each other’.

“The City of Whittlesea has made funds available to organisations on the frontline of delivering basic necessities that will make a difference to individuals and families right now,” Ms Wilson 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 SIM cards for maternal and child health clients to access online appointments and distraction packs for Aboriginal communities focused on mindfulness, mental health, family games and gardening.

Information and support to residents with disabilities and carers will also be provided, including changes to NDIS and service delivery activities.

Council will provide translated council information for multicultural communities, remote support programs will be available for vulnerable families and an outreach program for isolated groups and individuals in partnership with local support agencies will also be available.

“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 ratepayer 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 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.

For more information visit www.whittlesea.vic.gov/coronavirus.