Rapid Response Funding Supports Demand for Community Services Driven by COVID

The City of Newcastle has provided $ 110,000 for the purchase of food packages and toiletries, as well as crisis accommodation, counseling and web connectivity to community groups responding to the city’s current lockdown.

Newcastle Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the funding was part of an expanded Community and Economic Resilience Package (CERP) designed to tackle the economic and social impacts of the current lockdown.

“The city of Newcastle plays an important role in coordinating local services and providing targeted support,” said Cr Nelmes.

“When the pandemic was declared last year, the city of Newcastle quickly responded to the needs of our community, providing rapid financial support to frontline services struggling to cope with the sudden surge in demand.

“With the current Delta outbreak putting additional strain on community members and the services that support them, the City of Newcastle has scaled up this response, dispersing over $ 110,000 among 14 community organizations.

“Our Rapid Response Grants will give these organizations the resources they need to address the critical challenges of some of our most vulnerable residents as we continue to work together to stay safe and keep our community strong.”

The grants will enable existing service providers to provide nutritious food and vouchers for basic needs, improve access to community services, address issues such as social isolation and increase internet access. , affordable digital technology and equipment to improve participation in education and access to essential services. services.

Erin Beard of the Family Support Network said the funding would allow them to help more families by providing food, toiletries and baby items, as well as school supplies to help children and youth improve. their home learning experience.

“We all generally feel the stress of the lockdown, but for families who are already under duress, these COVID times add an additional burden. This grant from the City of Newcastle has allowed us to relieve some of that stress, ”Ms. Beard said.

“With the impact of COVID-19, we have changed the way we provide services and with more online groups and face-to-face calls, we are aware of the burden this places on families who need to use their data and the Internet for this support. For children in e-learning as a home schooling setting, using the data can come at an additional cost. This grant allows us to concretely support families, by covering part of the associated costs.

“We can also provide basic necessities for babies and children, meet some of their educational needs, and ease some of the burden of the cost of groceries. “

Recipients of the City of Newcastle Rapid Response Grants:

  • ACON – emergency food and personal care kits
  • Awabakal Ltd – culturally appropriate communication, awareness and support resources and materials
  • Catholic Care Social Services – emergency first aid kits and case support
  • Community Disability Alliance Hunter – Peer-Led Social Support and Public Health Information Kit
  • Family Support Newcastle – mother and baby items, web connectivity resources, and food and toiletry packages
  • Got Your Back Sista – emergency food aid and counseling vouchers
  • Multicultural communities Hunter – wellness packs and production of multilingual newsletters
  • Hope Street Wallsend and Mayfield – meal preparation and emergency relief packages
  • Jesmond and Maryland Neighborhood Center – purchases of small computer equipment for phone and web connectivity
  • LIVEFree Hamilton South Project – Scaling Up Existing Service to Meet Demand for Welfare Checks
  • Newcastle Beacon – emergency relief food and pharmaceutical packages
  • NOVA for Women – funding for emergency accommodation and purchases of small equipment for telephone and web connectivity
  • REACH Homeless Services – food and hygiene packs
  • SOUL Café – short-term staff costs for a mental health clinician and street manager

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