NSW offers support to charities – but much more is needed
2 September 2021 at 8:03 am
In this open letter sent to all Australian politicians, the Charities Crisis Cabinet endorses the additional funding announced by the NSW government but calls for more support to enable charities to better serve their communities.
Whenever there is a lockdown, charities are on the front-line of support for people experiencing hardship. Charities also play a critical role in reaching communities where access to safe and secure accommodation, health, internet, and critical services can be limited.
The NSW government has now acknowledged the value of charities in a new $200 million support package including a $50 million Social Sector Support Fund and a reduced income loss threshold for many charities to be able to access JobSaver payments – down from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.
The Charities Crisis Cabinet commends the NSW government for validating the work charities are doing. The additional level of support is a good first step in leveraging the vital role charities play. Hopefully other jurisdictions will follow this example and offer increased engagement and support to enable charities to better serve their communities through lockdowns and into recovery.
Charities know this is a crisis. We are seeing people we have never seen before seeking emergency relief, food, shelter. We are seeing frustration, anger, concern, particularly in our more exposed communities where many are not buffeted by comfortable houses and work or study from home options. Charities are working with people who have lost jobs, closed businesses, been unable to provide for their families or been isolated, and are in danger of being left behind.
We ask governments around Australia to engage with us, work with us as we seek to serve and strengthen our communities. Charities bring real expertise and active engagement with communities to the table. The knowledge and capacity of charities should not be ignored or dismissed. Including charities in the planning and delivery of services can only improve outcomes for communities.
As the new program of financial assistance from the NSW government recognises, charities are already part of the solution, part of building hope back into our communities whether that be through provision of vaccinations, education and awareness, or support to people in need.
Charities are more than willing to work with philanthropists, governments, businesses and local groups to increase the vital services needed for Australians. Collectively, we can all make Australia a better place.