WCC Annual Report - Page 25

Client Services Report The year also saw the establishment of a new partnership with the Whittlesea Community Building Initiative (CBI) and the Whittlesea Area Community Care & Assistance (WACCA) group to manage an 8 seater vehicle based in the Whittlesea Township. As a result, we have access to its use for Whittlesea Township residents requiring transport. This in return allows us to reduce our fuel costs when transporting clients from Whittlesea. Volunteer numbers have also grown as the demand for the service rises. We had 63 volunteers contributing well over 12,000 hours to the service during the year, a significant increase from the 7,500 hours completed last year. Volunteers are an integral part of the service, without them the service would not exist. We thank all of our volunteers for their time and commitment in providing a valuable service that assists so many of our community members. EMERGENCY RELIEF Eight dedicated ER assessors worked with some of the most vulnerable in our community providing emergency relief assistance and making referrals to relevant services. Volunteers continue to access support for clients where possible assisting with a number of Utility Relief Grant applications and accessing extra financial assistance through the Queens Fund. Through the casework service, WCC was also able to access discretionary funds for clients through the Ian and Nelle Clark encouragement fund and the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust. In total, we were able to access $18,663 in extra assistance for clients. 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 food bills/rent Medical expenses Rent more than 40% of… Transport costs Outstanding debts High utility bills Education expenses centrelink loan Fines/penalties baby/child expenses Moving/eviction costs Recent unemployment Child access costs Disruption to centrelink… Drug/alcohol problems Other Reason for accessing ER No. of clients The Emergency Relief (ER) Service continued to see an increase in demand, and despite assisting 1,489 clients, we were forced to turn away 1,231 people seeking assistance. The main reason for accessing ER continues to be for housing stress and utilities. Other reasons for people accessing the service have included outstanding debts, medical expenses and education costs. Re