Ararat Community Relief Centre open for business

Posted Wednesday 22 April, 03:44pm

People who need advice and support during COVID-19 restrictions are being encouraged to call Ararat Rural City Council’s newly established Ararat Community Relief Centre.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the centre – a telephone support line rather than a physical location – opened last week and aims to provide people who are isolated, in need or at high risk the help, advice and support they need.

Dr Harrison said Council staff are operating the centre, which can be reached on 5355 0980 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

“The relief centre is part of Council’s emergency management response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we encourage residents to use the service if they need help,” he said.

“People can call if they have questions, concerns or needs during the restrictions, especially if they are isolated or vulnerable. Our staff will put you in touch with organisations that can help and support you through the crisis.”

So far, the relief centre has taken a number of phone calls from community members asking for a range of information including Council service arrangements, as well as those who are isolated with no support and need essential supplies.

Dr Harrison said centre staff members are also making call backs to check in and provide company and reassurance for people who are feeling isolated from their community.

“Staff members have developed resource folders with current COVID-19 information and local and state support service contacts, which they are providing callers,” he said.

“This ensures we provide accurate and direct contact details for specialised support services, for instance, grocery delivery services, My Aged Care registration support, counselling services and mental health support.

“The staff members working in the relief centre have been chosen especially for their kind and friendly demeanours, and they are ready to take the community’s calls. If you or someone you know needs this kind of support, please don’t hesitate to call the centre on 5355 0980.

“We also encourage residents to spread the word and let their neighbours, friends and family know about the centre number in case they haven’t heard about it.”