Vin­nies to of­fer more af­ter grant

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d449079

Kath Wil­son, Kerry McDon­ald and Yvonne Smith (back) with Tony Simp­son and Mark Fitz­patrick.

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