Funding Bundy and Burnett youths

YOUTHS in the region needing a hand can look forward to additional financial assistance following successful campaigning by Youth Services Bundaberg.

Youth Services Bundaberg community liaison co-ordinator Viki Hannah said the $120,140 over the next two years from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs was more than expected and would help the high and urgent needs of youths in the region.

“This is going to mean hope to people really struggling in our community,” Mrs Hannah said.

“Our service works on the frontline with disadvantaged and at-risk people, mostly young people or those with young families who have fallen on hard times, and now we will be able to provide more assistance in a very practical way in Childers and Gin Gin as well as our previous Bundaberg areas.”

Mrs Hannah believed the proposal to service the more isolated areas was a government requirement, as well as a scholarship for a staff member to conduct a financial counselling program to help young people manage their funds.

“It’s a hand up, not a hand-out,” Mrs Hannah said.

“The increase of financial burdens impacts on everybody — we try to take some of that pressure off so they can get to the next step.”

The additional funding means Youth Services Bundaberg can provide food, crisis accommodation, pharmaceutical costs and fuel vouchers to help eligible residents of the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.

Part of the funding will also extend emergency relief services in new regions, so more people can access emergency relief.

Mrs Hannah said Federal Member Paul Neville was a great help in their 18 months of campaigning.

“It’s important to always work hard for the disadvantaged, particularly so in the current economic climate and it’s great to see a positive outcome from my representations,” Mr Neville said.

“Often a leg-up can make all the difference in helping people re-establish their lives, and we are certainly very lucky to have such a focused organisation like Bundaberg Youth Services setting a positive agenda to help overcome disadvantage.”

Individuals, community groups or churches can get more information at 4153 2227 or 1800 REACH OUT.

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