Tag Archives: Warrandyte Community Bank Branch

Helping our most vulnerable and marginalised

Doncare is particularly concerned about the vulnerable members in our community and people who are now being impacted financially, socially and emotionally by situations arising from COVID–19.

Many of whom, may not have required assistance before.

Last financial year, 98 per cent of clients seeking assistance from Doncare’s Information and Emergency Relief program were in receipt of a government pension, with 30 per cent receiving a Newstart Allowance.

That figure is set to rise, as Covid-19 continues to affect the level of unemployment.

Every day, Doncare’s Community Support Workers hear stories of family violence, financial hardship, homelessness or people facing the real risk of becoming homeless through the inability to pay rent or mortgages.

They see parents who cannot feed their children, pensioners who have not put on heating or who have had to choose between paying their utility bills and eating.

Many seniors tell us that they would normally spend time in local libraries or shopping centres to keep warm, but with Stage 3 restrictions in place, they are housebound.

Now that Victorian children are learning remotely, financially vulnerable families will also see significant increases in utility usage and expenditure as the winter months approach.

On average, Doncare feeds over 3,000 individuals a year and has already experienced a 200 per cent increase since February in the numbers of people approaching its Emergency Relief program for essential food items.

At the same time however, as suppliers and major donors take their own precautionary measures and downsize operations, Doncare is rapidly running out of food to distribute.

A Doncare spokesperson told the Diary thst now, more than ever, Doncare needs the community’s help to maintain the health and wellbeing of people experiencing hardship by donating food and household items.

“We have been very fortunate that Bendigo Bank’s Warrandyte and Doncaster East and Templestowe Village branches donated funds and Noel Jones Doncaster jumped to the rescue with a significant donation, even securing a huge amount of food from Metropolitan Foods Pty Ltd with the funds they donated.”

Year 9 students, Lucas and Angus also popped in to the Doncare office with Toby, Vice Captain of Whitefriars College.

The students initiated a fundraising BBQ and partnered with Youth Resource Officers from Warrandyte and Forest Hill Police Departments.

They raised $413.40 for Doncare’s food pantry.

Thanks to Mary-Anne Lowe, Warrandyte locals can now donate non-perishable items to Doncare’s food pantry by visiting the drive-thru drop zone at Bramleigh Estate, Warrandyte.

Donations will be gratefully accepted seven days a week from 7am–7pm (contactless).

Doncare’s new CEO Gaby Thomson said: “We are extremely grateful to Mary-Anne for creating this fabulous initiative, and to all the families, businesses and community groups that have already donated.

“This level of support really and truly echoes the sentiments of Doncare’s philosophy ‘for the community, by the community’,” she said.

Donations can also be delivered to Doncare’s main office at Suite 4, Level 1, 687 Doncaster Road, Doncaster.

Whilst the MC2 building is closed due to Covid-19, staff will gladly meet you downstairs to collect donations.

Meanwhile, Doncare has adopted physical distancing and other transmission reduction measures across the organisation and will be providing remote service delivery to clients in Family Services; Counselling; the Social Support for Seniors program and Community Visitors Scheme.

DAWN mentors will also continue to support women in recovery from family violence.

Should you require emergency relief or assistance with food parcels and food vouchers, please call Doncare on 9856 1500.

For more information, visit
www.doncare.org.au

 

The bank that cares for its community in a crisis

By SUSAN FOREMAN

YOUR LOCAL community bank has long been the lifeblood for the community, and especially in our current State of Emergency, the bank is doing all it can to help.

Community Liaison Officer at the Warrandyte Community Bank, Dee Dickson said the branch is staying in touch with Bendigo Bank head office, their staff, customers and community partners to ensure they are able to continue to service and support customers safely.

“Behind the scenes we have been speaking with our not-for-profit partners to understand the needs of locals, how this presents now and how it is likely to present moving forward.

“Recently we have contributed $2,000 to Now and Not Yet for the provision of emergency food parcels for local people and families in need.

“We have also reached out to Doncare and provided $1000 toward the distribution of food parcels and donated $2,000 to the Rotary Op Shop Food Bank to ensure they are well stocked with non-perishables.

“We’re exploring other ways to fund projects that support those in need and lift spirits — demonstrating what we can achieve together.”

If you know of someone, including your own family, that is in need, there is help available:

  • Now and Not Yet:  148–150 Yarra
    St, Warrandyte — for food and
    support.
  • Rotary Op Shop:  Rear of the
    Bridge shops, 264 Yarra St,
    Warrandyte  — for food (non-
    perishables on  site)  and food
    orders (purchased  and  delivered
    by op shop  volunteers)
  • Doncare:  Manningham City
    Square, Suite 4 level 1/687
    Doncaster Rd, Doncaster
    — for food  and crisis intervention
  • Pettet Family Foundation, Park
    Orchards — Crisis intervention
    and inclusion services for children
    and their families.
    Contact Geoff Parkes
    geoff.parkes@bigpond.com
    or 0418 392 748.

For 17 years, the Warrandyte Community Bank Branch has been committed to the care of locals and the groups of which they are members, especially when things get tough.

“As we respond to COVID-19, please know our commitment to our customers, will not change.

“If you need assistance our branch staff are here to help you navigate these uncertain financial times,” Dee said.

The branch is open Monday–Friday from 9:30am–5pm or staff can be contacted on 9844 2233.

 

Community investment: Bank celebrates 15 years of “giving back”

WARRANDYTE Community Bank Branch has celebrated its 15-year anniversary at a special event held on Friday March 23.

Over 140 shareholders, community group representatives, directors, staff members and dignitaries gathered in The Grand Hotel’s Riverview Room to acknowledge the ongoing community service of the bank, which since its inception in 2003, has donated $2.8 million in community grants and sponsorships.

Community liaison officer Dee Dickson, who organised the celebration, said the event was so meaningful because it was not just about giving money, but about building a sense of community.

“The number of people that came to me and said we value your partnership and the relationships that the bank creates and fosters, that was really lovely to hear,” she said.

Branch chairman Aaron Farr said in his speech, that ordinary customers helped provide valuable community resources and facilities just by banking with the local branch.

“We are giving money back, and that’s our way of contributing but, we couldn’t do that without our customers,” he said.

“Thank-you to everyone in this room, because you are the reason we can do that.”

According to the bank’s 2017/18 financial reports, the branch returned over $400,000 in charitable donations to local schools, sporting clubs, emergency services and community groups in that financial year alone, which was nearly 80 per cent of its operating profit.

Mr Farr said in his speech, that the bank aims to grow that effort in the years to come.

“How nice would it be in another 15 years to be giving back $1 million a year,” he said.

“Just think of what we could actually achieve.”

Guests heard about the positive impact the bank’s various donations and contributions have had upon the local community, including a $30,000 grant awarded to the Burch Memorial Preschool, which allowed for much needed renovations and provided a second educational space for the preschool’s limited three-year-old program.

Burch Memorial Preschool President Sharmini Philp said in her speech, that the funding helped create a crucial support network for young families that was previously missing in Wonga Park.

“We don’t really have the words to describe the impact the Warrandyte Community Bank grant has had in our community,” she said.

“I still get goosebumps when I think about it.”

Ms Philp also said the preschool community did not just value the funding, but also the support, encouragement and guidance they received from the bank.

“They were actively involved and shared the journey with us,” she said.

“We really had no idea about the process at the time and the guidance from the Warrandyte Community Bank staff was amazing.”

Ms Dickson said the project was among those she was most passionate about, because the funding did not just provide infrastructure, but gave the preschool a space where young families could come together and meet.

“It ticks every box and exemplifies everything we hold dear to us,”
she said.

“Those sorts of projects really bring people in the community together.”

The branch also offers a scholarship program for first-time tertiary students whose circumstances might make a university degree otherwise unattainable, with funding of $10,000 delivered over the first two years of study.

Alex Ward, a nursing and paramedicine student at the Australian Catholic University in Ballarat, is currently in her second year of scholarship funding.

Alex, who has had to move to Ballarat, said the scholarship helped her pay for expenses such as, food, rent, petrol, textbooks and placement uniforms.

“If it was not for the scholarship, I would never have been able to study this degree,” she said.

“It’s the entire reason I can study in Ballarat.”

The branch, which is a franchise of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank group, was created thanks to funding from locals, following the closure of the last of the big banks in Warrandyte.

John Provan, a founding director and shareholder, said in his speech that a volunteer steering committee of local business owners and club representatives made an enormous contribution in establishing the branch.

“We attended the local markets and the festival, selling shares to raise the necessary $600,000 plus, from approximately 360 shareholders, to commence the branch,” he said.

“It’s been a long haul and we didn’t dream we’d get to this stage.”

After the formalities, guests were able to socialise, relax, have a drink and enjoy the live music by Nick Charles and Mick Pealing.

Scholarship gives students a kick start

WARRANDYTE COMMUNITY Bank Branch scholarships for 2018 have been awarded to Eilish Kelly and Annie Marsh-Pearson, helping to supplement their study costs of higher education.

They join Alex Ward who is commencing her second year of scholarship funding whilst attending university in Ballarat.

The Warrandyte Community Bank Scholarship is part of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Scholarship program, which across the network has invested more than $6.5 million into helping 568 Australian students realise their higher education dreams.

Scholarships are awarded to first-time tertiary students whose circumstances might mean that a TAFE course or university degree is otherwise out of their reach, with funding being delivered over the first two years of tertiary study and first year of TAFE.

This is the seventh year Warrandyte Community Bank Branch has offered scholarships, and the first time applications were open to students attending TAFE, validating the Bank’s Board of Director’s commitment to supporting local youth in furthering their education.

“Our branch is proud of these young people looking to further their education by attending TAFE and university,” Aaron Farr, chairman of Warrandyte Community Bank Branch said.

“The calibre of applicants we had for this year’s scholarship highlighted that our young people are an absolute asset to our local community.

“We are pleased that our investment in Annie, Eilish and Alex’s further education will help them focus on their studies and help lay a solid foundation for success,” Aaron added.

Recently the chairman along with branch manager, Cheryl Meikle had the pleasure of meeting these three wonderful young locals when the bank announced its 2018 scholarship recipients.

Following the new protocol this year which has opened up opportunities for students attending TAFE, Eilish is the first recipient of a TAFE scholarship.

She is attending Holmesglen Institute and is studying an Advanced Diploma of Justice, a two year full time course.

She is hoping to end up in the police force or have a career within the justice field.

Annie has overcome major health issues which have had a significant impact on her secondary school years.

She is about to embark on her tertiary education after accepting a place in a Bachelor of Nutrition Science Course at Deakin University.

“I am grateful to Warrandyte Community Bank Branch for helping me to attend university and to follow my passion for paediatric dietetics,” Annie said.

Alex is in her second year at Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Ballarat.

She is continuing with a double degree in Nursing and Paramedicine.

The first year of scholarship funding enabled Alex to enjoy a smooth transition into university life.

It has helped her to meet the costs of living and studying whilst living out of home.

“Moving away from home was a big change for me.

“The scholarship ensured I was able to settle into university life without the added pressure of financial stress.

“I am truly grateful for this opportunity, as are my parents,” she said.

The annual Warrandyte Community Bank scholarship helps first-year university students on their path to tertiary education with a $10,000 bursary over two years ($5,000 each year) or a one off payment of $5,000 for TAFE.

To be eligible, applicants must meet various criteria including residing in the local area, be academically motivated, involved in the community and be able to detail financial or social challenges which hinder their ability to undertake further study.