Vinnies to offer more after grant
THE St Vincent de Paul Society will be able to provide more help to people in local communities after receiving an $800,000 Lotterywest grant for its emergency relief program.
St Vincent de Paul Society chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick said emergency relief call centre volunteers answered nearly 30,000 calls last year from individuals and families seeking assistance.
“Through the emergency relief program volunteers assist families and individuals with food, material aid, clothing, assistance with utility bills, rent and family support,” he said.
“Last year 86 per cent of requests were for food and that is a concerning statistic.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said the grant would help call centre volunteers provide assistance to people in need in the local community.
“Vinnies volunteers provide support through our unique home visitation pro- gram, which helps us assess people’s potential ongoing needs as well as offer encouragement and hope,” he said.
“We aim to respond to every genuine request for help and this grant will help make that possible.”
Community Services Minister Tony Simpson presented the Lotterywest grant to staff and volunteers at the St Vincent de Paul Society head office in Belmont last week.
The Society will also be extending $75,000 to people who lost homes or were displaced in the South-West bushfires.
Mr Fitzpatrick said it would be divided by giving a one-off payment of $500 per household.
“The payment should help people with their immediate needs and we want to give people access to support as quickly as possible,” he said.
“Vinnies has been overwhelmed with the amount of donations people from all over the state have delivered to our local shops, and our staff and volunteers have been working to ensure the stock is sorted and directed to people who need it most.”
Call 1300 794 054 to find out if you are eligible assistance.
Kath Wilson, Kerry McDonald and Yvonne Smith (back) with Tony Simpson and Mark Fitzpatrick.