2016 Annual Report - Page 4

Message from the Chair and Manager We would like to start by thanking all of CSF’s volunteers for your selfless commitment to helping forgotten people in our community, those falling through service gaps into poverty and exclusion. More often than not there is no quick fix for people accessing our services but you freely give your time, skills and kindness to those most in need of it. Now in our 48th year of providing information, advocacy and practical/personal supports, 13,357 volunteer hours went into CSF services that assist Frankston’s most vulnerable residents. Access to transitional, let alone affordable housing and the increasing cost of living is causing more families and individuals to seek Emergency Relief (ER) supports. “Community Support Frankston Incorporated works to help create a Frankston where everyone has access to the resources, services and opportunities that will enable them to maintain a standard of living equal to that enjoyed by the majority.” These factors also don’t make life any easier for those people who are already living pay-cheque to pay-cheque and are only one emergency away from losing everything. All too frequently our volunteers hear from people who have fallen on hard times and lack the supports to help pick themselves back up. A large focus for the Board and management has been putting contingency plans into action, making sure that the significant reductions to ER funding have minimal impact on services available for our clients. We are very conscious of the fact that while grant funding had decreased, the demand for CSF’s services has not. Following last year’s excitement at having been awarded a Department of Social Services (DSS) contract, CSF also needed to rise to the challenge of a decrease in ER grant funding. Over the past 12 months CSF was successful with a number of smaller grants and donations, including the Feed Melbourne grant that paved the way for our perishable foods program. An annual $100,000 reduction in ER funding was always going to hit CSF hard but we mitigated dire consequences by being responsive, proactive and willing to change with the times. We’re grateful to all CSF volunteers who have embraced these changes, including an offsite-cooking program through our friends at Avocare that’s seeing up 4 The measure of a community is how it treats its most vulnerable members