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West Wallsend charity to continue providing care packages amidst COVID-19 uncertainty

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Advancement Group (SVNC) has been busy dropping off supplies and making contact with isolated individuals through a door-to-door service.

Based in West Wallsend, SVNC’s services have been in high demand as people in its local community have lost jobs or taken reduced hours due to COVID-19.

As one of very few community centres to remain open throughout the crisis, supplies have been running low but a $7,000 grant by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation will enable the charity to continue this necessary service during the uncertain times that lie ahead.

SVNC Manager, Michelle Brosnahan said how important it is to receive this grant during the current climate.

“This grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has come at the perfect time – the funding allows us to continue providing this necessary one-to-one service to the most vulnerable people in our community as we face the unpredictable months ahead."

“This one-to-one service ensures that not only can we donate basic food supplies, fuel vouchers and toiletries to those in need, but it also provides us with an opportunity to check in and assess the wellbeing of individuals and families as they attempt to navigate through these challenging times”, Michelle said.

The care package service limits the need for clients to gather at SVNC’s premises, with staff and volunteers delivering services directly to people in West Wallsend, Holmesville, Seahampton, Killingworth and Barnsley and surrounding areas.

SVNC has a risk management plan to ensure its facilities and participants are safe. Distance, sanitisation and PPE procedures are being followed to minimise any risks arising from the program. Care packages have been part of SVNC’s usual offering, however due to the impacts of COVID-19 the charity has experienced disruptions to supplies.

This grant will enable SVNC with the support they need to continue providing this service for the next few months.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Acting Chair, Jennifer Leslie said projects that address social isolation in disadvantaged or marginalised communities were a key focus areas for the Charitable Foundation.

“In the current landscape it’s imperative we support resourceful organisations like SVNC that offer direct relief to the community, and prevent further marginalisation and isolation”, Jennifer said.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation supported SVNC with a community support vehicle in 2017, which is being utilised in this delivery program.

Mary De Fries, Michelle Brosnahan and Roanne Walmsley from Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Centre

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