In October 2021, Link Wentworth received $180,000 from the NSW Department of Communities & Justice (DCJ) to provide support to vulnerable people in the communities of former ‘LGAs of concern’—primarily residents of Western Sydney—who had been impacted due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The grant allowed Link Wentworth to provide a range of support to eligible people. It included emotional and trauma support, service coordination, financial support and brokerage of material aid to meet immediate needs.
DCJ eventually broadened the guidelines of the grant to serve members of the Greater Sydney community who have been impacted by COVID-19. This meant Link Wentworth could help community members in Northern Sydney as well as Western Sydney.
By the end of the program on 30 December 2021, Link Wentworth provided support to 332 clients. The majority of assistance was in utilities expenses (45%), food relief (14%) and rental arrears (14%), with an average of $482 spent on each individual.
One person, a single mother, was provided with support to buy new shoes for her daughter, to buy groceries and to cover the cost of medical appointments. Another single mother was assisted with the costs associated with her car, including servicing and registration, so she could take her children to school and to appointments.
Through the grant, Link Wentworth was also able to help an Aboriginal family return to Country to deal with a sensitive family matter.
Thank you to DCJ for the grant, which allowed us to help those who most needed it following a difficult and challenging period for many.