Albany emergency relief services urge locals doing it tough to seek support early this Easter

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Community service leaders Asha Bhat of Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Danielle Halsall of Albany Youth Support Association, Rod Pfeiffer of Foodbank, Joanna Fictoor of Albany Women's Centre, and Danica Van de Wege.
Camera IconCommunity service leaders Asha Bhat of Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Danielle Halsall of Albany Youth Support Association, Rod Pfeiffer of Foodbank, Joanna Fictoor of Albany Women's Centre, and Danica Van de Wege. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Easter holidays are a time for family, fun and plenty of chocolate — but for our community’s most vulnerable, the break can bring uncertainty and stress.

Albany’s emergency relief organisations want the community to know if they call for help this Easter, they will be heard.

With the rental crisis hitting, and the fortnightly $150 coronavirus supplement coming to an end, there is support available over the holidays.

“Not all people find holiday time enjoyable — with services closed, it can exacerbate their vulnerability,” Anglicare WA Albany Women’s Centre manager Joanna Fictoor said.

“It was noted from Christmas that individuals seeking emergency relief for non-life- threatening, but nonetheless challenging situations found that many services were closed for extended periods.

“The same is anticipated over the Easter period.

“We encourage people to reach out and seek support early.”

Ms Fictoor said access to affordable food, safe accommodation and support for carers were the most common needs during the holiday period.

“Women experiencing and managing family violence often experience higher levels of abuse during holiday periods,” she said.

“Albany Women’s Centre is asking the community to look out for friends, family, and neighbours this Easter with calls for support relating to family violence expected to peak.”

Non-perishable food and essentials hampers from Foodbank can be found at most local churches over the Easter public holidays.

With relief organisations bracing for a rise in demand in the coming months, Pivot Support Services chief executive Ian Neil is urging people to seek support early.

“Pivot has a Lotterywest grant to assist those in housing stress, so if you are in need, please contact the Pivot office after Easter to discuss your situation. The earlier you do this the better,” he said.

Southern Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Asha Bhat said SAC had received a grant to provide culturally appropriate emergency relief from the continuing effects of COVID-19.

“Our funding is targeted at households with Indigenous people residing that are experiencing hardship within the Great Southern region and Wheatbelt South sub-region,” she said.

“The support proposed will assist Indigenous people that have experienced hardship over a long period of time that has increased due to COVID-19 as well as those Indigenous people that are newly experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.”

Local support services available over the Easter long weekend include the Albany Women’s Centre and the Albany Youth Support Association.

Lifeline: 13 11 44

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636

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