If you don't know where to turn "just give us a call"

Staying connected: Through the lock-down period Mission Australia found ways to continue working with vulnerable people in our community.
Staying connected: Through the lock-down period Mission Australia found ways to continue working with vulnerable people in our community.

If you're looking for the kind of help or programs that any of the local community or charitable organisations offer, but you don't know where to turn, "just give us a call," says Daniel Strickland from Mission Australia.

"It may not be something that we can deliver, but we will know who does [so] we will be able to connect them with suitable services."

Mission Australia provides or participates in a number of programs locally such as Brighter Futures and Opportunity Pathways, and have continued with them throughout the lock-down period and beyond, but in modified forms.

Unable to do the bigger events that have been on in past years, Daniel says that the team looked at how they could adapt and continue to serve the vulnerable members of our community.

Daniel is particularly proud of the staff looking after this region and wanted to take the opportunity to give "Praise and credit to the team that did great work in this difficult period and in the recovery, and our team continues to work through that and adapt and be there for the community no matter the outside forces."

For example, early in the lock-down they asked if there would be any interest in them creating entertainment packs with puzzles, activities and other things for families as they stayed at home, and Daniel says they were inundated with requests.

They subsequently dropped off 120 packs to the doorsteps of these families in the Goulburn region and Daniel says it was also heartwarming to see how grateful people were.

They also maintained a physical connection at appropriate distance, continuing their community foot patrols around the housing estates and chatting from the front gate to give those people a connection to the outside world.

"We continued to have a presence on the street and people got used to it and would come to their front door and talk with the staff.

"Having that conversation with someone was an outlet for them, I think. And that was key for our team in that period too," Daniel said.

The work that Mission Australia does to help people eligible for their assistance find employment also faced extra challenges during the lock-down period.

As an example, Opportunity Pathways helps clients in social, public or community housing do things that may include training and education, to help make them more employable. For those seeking employment "we worked remotely with them to maintain a presence and assist those families."

Obviously it became more difficult to find work during the shut-down period, but having maintained a connection with those families Daniel says "now we're seeing the jobs for them reemerge".

Mission Australia is a national Christian charity that provides a range of community services throughout Australia. As their catchphrase says, "Together, we stand with Australians in need, until they can stand for themselves."

You can call Mission Australia on 02 4824 4000.