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Due to the financial and emotional impact on people of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lotterywest opened up grants to Western Australian not-for-profit community organisations, and local governments to support their clients and communities. COVID-19 saw an increased number of people within the Shire of Manjimup experiencing hardship, with more expected to do so within the next weeks and months. To assist the community the Shire of Manjimup applied to Lotterywest for a grant of $428,364 (excl. GST) to provide food, shelter, crisis accommodation, transport, gas bottles, firewood, and other emergency relief items. Earlier last week the Shire received confirmation that they had been successful in their application and will be receiving funds to support those in the community in need.
Whilst there was a section of the community already vulnerable, the pandemic has seen a new category of vulnerable people, namely middle class families, being impacted by the pandemic measures. Community safety measures may have led to one or several family members losing their job, having their work hours severely reduced, having less work for those who are self-employed, or not being able to go to work due to having to care for vulnerable family members. In addition the loss of casual employment, often only a few hours here and there, has resulted in individuals and families slipping behind financially and into increasing hardship. Many of these families may never have accessed government support before, and may be too proud to reach out for support, or not know who to turn to in times of hardship. Along with the permanent community there is also the itinerant community that have been greatly impacted by movement restrictions. From the start of the pandemic, the Shire of Manjimup has had a strong focus on the itinerant population. Not only has it openly declared its position to support the itinerant people who were stranded in the region and were in need of humanitarian care, but it is also acutely aware of the value and reliance of its agricultural sector on this workforce. The Shire of Manjimup is working with existing charity organisations and support service providers in Manjimup, Northcliffe, Pemberton and Walpole to distribute support and deliver emergency relief to those in need. Not only will these funds support those in need, but will provide a boost for local businesses and the economies of the towns within the Shire.
Over the next weeks the distribution method will be finalised and further information will be provided on how those in the community doing it tough, or experiencing difficulties can access support.
Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive OfficerContact Sheri Laba, Public Relations Officer
Contact for comment: Paul Omodei, Shire PresidentContact: 0448 810 773