Local Neighbourhood and Community Centres are providing essential support to Queenslanders during what the QFCA describes as a “perfect storm”.
Em James, General Manager of the Queensland Families and Communities Association states, “Queenslanders are facing a “perfect storm” of social isolation, mental health issues, domestic violence, unemployment and financial hardship due to COVID-19 restrictions”. “As JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments are wound back, we expect to see larger numbers of people seeking support from our centres. Restrictions have forced people to seek support from their own Neighbourhoods rather than government or larger organisations”.
Research recently conducted by the peak body revealed that over 1.83 million Queenslanders visited a Neighbourhood Centre in the past year creating over $77.8million in social value and accessing 252 tonnes of emergency food relief. Neighbourhood Centres also provide social connection, crisis support, No Interest Loans, community development and individual help to local areas. “Over 2200 people volunteer in Queensland Neighbourhood Centres every week. So we have a lot of local people helping others out in their own communities in times of crisis”, Ms James added. "As Queenslanders face another natural disaster season on top of this current crisis, our centres will be literally helping local communities weather the perfect storm".