STAWELL - Stawell Inter Church Council Welfare has received funding assistance from the Stawell Harness Racing Club.
Mary Rita Thomas from the Inter Church Welfare Relief Centre received the $1000 donation from Stawell Harness Racing Club CEO, Lisa McIlvride.
The Inter Church Welfare Relief Centre provides assistance for the needy in Stawell and the surrounding region.
They provide food aid as well as supermarket, chemist, fuel, VLine, second hand clothing, accommodation and meal vouchers.
The centre also refer and make appointments for those they help to access local community support services.
The Inter Church Welfare Relief Centre located in the old Kingston's bus building, 18 Wimmera Street Stawell, is open three mornings a week from 10am - 12.30pm.
They also have an emergency mobile phone which is manned during daylight hours.
The centre provides respectful, non judgemental help to all, working with all community support services and churches in the area being manned by 25 local volunteers.
Stawell Inter Church Council was founded in 1970 and from the very beginning has been involved in providing assistance to those in need through the Stawell Inter Church Council Welfare Committee.
In 1992 the centre created a central point for those seeking help, firstly in the Baptist Church Hall, then the St Patrick's parish op shop, then the Savation Army op shop and now at 18 Wimmera Street.
Initially the centre's welfare funds came completely from the various local churches and the Clerk of Courts.
In 2001 the centre became the Commonwealth funded emergency relief provider for the area using FaHSCIA grant money, however the centre continues to need financial support from the local churches and the Clerk of Courts.
In the last financial year the centre had 1095 visits seeking assistance - 98 of these were from new households seeking assistance for the first time, while assisting 50 households out of hours.
The centre issued 870 vouchers, of these $26,400 was for groceries, $2745 for fuel, $240 for accommodation and $181 for the chemist. They spent $10,777.91 on groceries to have on hand at the centre for food hampers.