COVID cash relief

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
People in the Shire of Manjimup may be eligible for a share of $430,000 COVID relief funding.
Camera IconPeople in the Shire of Manjimup may be eligible for a share of $430,000 COVID relief funding. Credit: Supplied

Relief is coming in the wake of COVID-19 thanks to a $430,000 Lotterywest grant to address critical needs such as food and crisis accommodation in the Shire of Manjimup.

Manjimup Shire Council is now in the process of working out how to distribute money to people in need of shelter, firewood, gas bottles and other emergency relief items.

Shire president Paul Omodei said the successful grant application was thanks to the council’s COVID-19 recovery team’s hard work.

“During the crisis, the recovery team worked with community organisations and individuals to identify where there were gaps in resources available to people,” he said.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding and to be able to help people who were affected by the crisis.

“A lot of work was done by the recovery team — led by community services director Gail Ipsen Cutts — and they all did a fantastic job.”

Cr Omodei said the council would ratify a hardship policy to determine eligibility criteria to receive funding at the next council meeting.

St Vincent de Paul welfare conference member Tracy Lambert welcomed the funding and thanked the council for its proactive approach in contacting community groups.

“We and the other community support providers will work together to work out the best way to manage and account for the distribution of funds.” she said.

“This is a unique grant and something we want to ensure is accessible to those that need a bit of an extra hand in the coming months.

“We also need to find a way to reach out to those who are doing it tough but haven’t yet reached out to one of the groups in our community.”

Mrs Lambert said during the COVID-19 crisis, Manjimup St Vincent de Paul saw a drop in people receiving benefits due to the stimulus package and an increase in middle income families as their situation changed.

Manjimup Chamber of Commerce president Victoria Howe welcomed the funding and encouraged anyone who had faced hardship to reach out and utilise this financial boost.

“The Manjimup Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with the shire and the recovery team during this crisis and maintaining an ongoing collaborative relationship,” she said.

“We must as a community remember the importance of shopping and supporting local businesses.”

Mrs Howe said while all businesses had been affected during COVID-19, the most affected were food, accommodation, retail and beauty services.

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