Community Relief Service a helping hand during COVID-19 pandemic

Mildura Rural City Council’s COVID-19 Community Relief Service is making a difference in our community, connecting residents to services and information when they need it most.

The service has been set up to quickly connect people to the support they need, making it as easy as possible to access help or information, including access to food parcels, referral to support services and the latest COVID-19 information.

Councillor for Community Wellbeing and Services Gavin Sedgmen said the COVID-19 pandemic has left many proud and self-reliant Mallee residents in the unusual position of needing help, sometimes for the first time in their lives.

“This pandemic has, and will continue to have, serious economic and social impacts on our region, particularly for those who may be out of work or out of pocket through no fault of their own as a result of COVID-19 restrictions,” Cr Sedgmen said.

“Our Community Relief Service was established to help our community through these tough times, and I’m pleased to see residents utilising this service.

“These are some of the most unusual circumstances the world has seen in modern times, and residents shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help if they need it.”

In a bid to encourage more residents to utilise the Community Relief Service if they need help, Council will be recounting some of their experiences starting from today. This is the first of our community’s stories:

After hearing about the Council having assistance for people in need in our community from my maternal health nurse I decided to ring and enquire as we had hit a difficult time as both our wages had been cut in half.

I rang and was connected with [the Community Relief Service] and right from the start I felt comfortable and welcomed.

Although they were unable to assist with rent as this wasn’t part of their relief help, [the Community Relief Service] was able to help me and point me in the right direction and with all the information I needed to be able to seek help through another source which I have since done and have been able to apply for assistance which will be such a huge help.

I also was able to receive a care package of groceries that was so generous and brought me to tears as they also went above and beyond and bought our five-year-old a gift as well which made her day. She was so happy to get a gift out of the blue and she played with it for days after saying “I can’t believe that nice lady gave me this present”.

So to say we feel truly cared for by our community in a time where we are all in a position out of our control would be an understatement.

I have also had follow up calls to see how we are going and also had the warmth of an ear to listen with how I am feeling during this time.

It’s been really nice to have such caring phone conversation with the team member and have that contact with the outside world in a time of isolation.

We could not be more grateful for the assistance we have received from the Community Relief Service, from the food care package to the helping hand to point us in the right direction for extra assistance.

So thank you Mildura Rural City Council for having these [services] available to all in need and especially for us who are not used to asking for help and being in this vulnerable position and having great staff that make us feel welcome.

Residents can access the service in three ways:

Online: www.mildura.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

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