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Organisation receives helping hand

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BaptistCare HopeStreet has welcomed some much-needed support to continue serving its community through the pandemic.

The organisation was among eight charitable groups which shared in $150,000 of Rapid Response Grants from City of Newcastle to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19.

Manager of the BaptistCare HopeStreet Wallsend Centre Craig Budden said their $25,000 grant would help meet the increase in demand at the organisation’s Wallsend and Mayfield centres.

“The extra funding will mean we are able to provide more emergency relief care-packs, Woolworths and Coles vouchers, hand sanitiser, cleaning products and other emergency relief items like petrol, sleeping bags and pharmacy products, as well as more takeaway food through our outreach van,” Mr Budden said.

“The grant will also help fund the HopeStreet food delivery service that we have started to ensure those who are experiencing food insecurity but are self-isolating or quarantining can still receive food support.”

This grant is a part of the City’s first round of support under the Community and Economic Development Resilience Package.

The package is helping charities to prepare meals and care for the needy.

The grants will also be used to buy IT equipment for disadvantaged youth to continue their education during social isolation and help victims of domestic violence access online counselling.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the first round of support had been rolled out in little more than a week after the City announced a twin grants program to support non-government organisations, not for profits and other charitable service providers.

“The rapid response funding has ensured the continuity of food supply to meet a spike in local demand,” Cr Nelmes said.

“It was critical we responded quickly to help organisations implement the changes they have had to make to operate safely under current social distancing and home isolation restrictions.

“We are delighted to help the food charity sector as it adjusts to new ways of working and vulnerable members of the community adapt to access online and digital help, whether through computer tablets for disadvantaged kids living in refuges or online counselling for victims of domestic violence.”

Another round of community funding totalling $550,000 is also being offered under the City’s Community and Economic Development Resilience Package.

The Boost our City Community Grants of up to $30,000 will help organisations directly support community health and wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis.

Open until 30 June, Boost our City Community Grants are available for projects that comply with Federal Government guidelines and NSW Health advice.

Application forms and information on how to apply are available via the City’s website.

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