17 April 2020.
St John’s Care in Reid and Gordon Community Centre in south Canberra, in partnership with Anglicare, remain open for families needing food relief and other emergency assistance.
Executive Director at St John’s Care, Sarah Murdoch, said she was concerned for local families as COVID-19 restrictions placed more people at risk. “In a normal week we assist around 150 families and usually this time of year, heading into winter, we see a spike in demand for our services, but at the moment very few families are asking for help.”
Ms Murdoch attributed the downturn to COVID-19 social distancing measures that have resulted in some charitable services having to close their doors. “We are very mindful of protecting our staff, volunteers and clients, which is why Anglicare follows strict social distancing and health & safety protocols. Some of our other group activities have been suspended but two of our emergency relief services remain open as we know even more families than ever are going to be struggling.”
Even with the government’s JobKeeper measures to assist those facing job loss, increased heating costs and the need for winter clothing and other expenses, as well as some locals still recovering from the impacts of the recent bushfires mean greater numbers families may be at risk.
“We welcome the JobKeeper payments, but this assistance won’t reach everybody. Unfortunately it is those most at risk trying to make ends meet through sporadic casual employment that will miss out. That’s why we encourage people to seek help early before their situation deteriorates further,” says Ms Murdoch.
St John’s Care is located at 45 Constitution Ave, Reid and is open Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 2pm and can offer services by phone on 6248 7771.
Gordon Community Centre is located at 110 Lewis Luxton Ave, Gordon, and is open between 10.00am-1.00pm Mondays (closed public holidays), 10.00am-1.00pm & 2.00pm-4.00pm – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
For more information or to arrange an interview, call 0437 321 451.
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