Communities@Work is Canberra’s largest not-for-profit community organisation, working with our community to build a resilient, sustainable and socially inclusive place to live and work.
They’re also Canberra’s largest children’s services provider and provide a wide range of high-quality early education and care (childcare) services, backed up by over 43 years’ experience in the ACT and Capital Region.
Communities@Work use the profits from these services to support a wide range of community services that are assisting people in times of need, and enhancing the quality of life for seniors, people with disability and the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
‘We’re here for you’ is their mission and motto, and they’re proud to play a leading role in supporting the Canberra community.
Here are just three key ways that Communities@Work have amped up their efforts to support Canberrans during this COVID-19 lockdown:
Community (Food) Pantries
The community pantries provide free and/or discounted food and essential items to anyone who is struggling or experiencing hardship. During the lockdown, they’ve implemented a ‘Tick and Collect’ System. Clients select their food and essential items off a list and wait at the pantry door for staff to collect and bring items to them.
Pantries are stocked through weekly food collections from local grocery stores, donations from individuals, groups and valuable charity partners, and purchases of discounted food pallets from Foodbank NSW & ACT. They also provide personal care items like cleaning products and hygiene items and toiletries.
The community pantries are reliable and predictable. There will always be something to eat, cook or use at home. Staff don’t judge or question - just provide a friendly face and hand.
Communities@Work have proudly and promptly responded to last-minute requests from the ACT Government to provide meals to sites in quarantine, such as an ACT Health-supervised public housing site.
The cooking team at the Tuggeranong Community Centre make sure that meals are cooked and ready to use in the community pantry, so when such requests are received, they can easily deliver these meals instead to people in quarantine.
It means their cooking team are working extra hard at the moment, to make sure there are always meals available for pantry clients as well as extras for any future requests for help. Communities@Work are proud and happy to help, and love working together with other organisations to look after our community.
Waiving the Gap Fee for Children’s Services families
While the ACT Government is recommending that families keep their children at home if possible during the COVID-19 lockdown period, we understand that many families do still need the Communities@Work services.
So they’ve remained open for vulnerable children and for children whose parents or carers can’t work from home.
To further support families during this time, they’ve made the decision to waive gap fees for families who are keeping their children at home for the entire duration of the lockdown. Communities@Work hope this will reduce the financial burden on families and allow families to keep children enrolled and connected to their service, which they believe is especially important during these uncertain times.
It’s times like these that we all need to support each other and reach out for support when we need a hand. Communities@Work might not have all the answers, but they promise to listen and support the community as best they can.
Communities@Work has a role to play as part of broader community efforts. They take their commitment to the Canberra community very seriously and aim to ensure that they are able to continue to provide essential community services in the face of this unprecedented crisis.
As we look to the future, perhaps never has the purpose and mission of Communities@Work been more important. The impact of COVID-19 is substantial and will be felt for many months and years, exacerbating current issues and producing new and different challenges for our community to meet.
Communities@Work are proud to have stepped up to play a leading role in supporting the ACT community during this phase and as we prepare for an uncertain future, they are focused on helping build a better future.