Lotterywest grant an ‘exceptional’ boost for Albany’s Pivot Support Services

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens presents the $50,000 Lotterywest grant to Pivot Support Services board chairman Blue Field.
Camera IconAlbany MLA Rebecca Stephens presents the $50,000 Lotterywest grant to Pivot Support Services board chairman Blue Field. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Pivot Support Services have expressed their gratitude after being a presented with a $50,000 Lotterywest grant to help it continue to provide emergency crisis relief over the next 12 months.

Pivot chief executive Ian Neil described the grant as “exceptional” after Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens officially handed over the grant to Pivot board chairman Blue Field.

“It allows to provide practical support to people in crisis,” Mr Neil said.

“That support can take the form of food, swags, blanket, clothing, vouchers to other stores, maybe paying some bills, sometimes a petrol voucher so they can go somewhere where they’ve got support.

“$50,000 is a significant amount from Lotterywest, in the past we used to get $7500 a year.”

It shouldn’t be that way — as soon as they get into crisis or stress come and see us because we can help with financial counselling and all those types of things.

Pivot chief executive Ian Neil

There has been increasing demand for Pivot’s support in recent years.

Mr Neil said the organisation had provided assistance to 1200 people in the past three years.

“We’re seeing more -people come through our office and the people that come through are more complex than in the past,” he said.

“The numbers coming through the door are increasing, we will have seen nearly 500 people come through by the time this calendar year ends.”

He said increasing pressures related to cost-of-living increases meant more people were ending up in crisis through “no fault of their own”.

“They can’t find a house, rent’s gone up to $500 a week, these types of very real things are affecting the cost of living,” he said.

“These are people who haven’t necessarily had contact with community services agencies before.”

He said that he wanted the community to no longer consider support services like Pivot as a last resort.

“They’ll go their savings, they might access their super, or they might turn to friends for a loan, or they might get a payday lender or something like that, and then when all else fails they come and see us,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be that way — as soon as they get into crisis or stress come and see us because we can help with financial counselling and all those types of things.

“The one thing we need to get out into the community is that people should put their hand up early in the process.”

Mr Neil said if Pivot was unable to provide direct support it was able to refer those in need to the most appropriate service in the area.

If you are in need of support you can visit Pivot at 121 Aberdeen Street or call 9842 9699.

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