A Ballarat charity has thrown open its doors to locals affected by the Banksia Financial Group collapse.
Anglicare’s Western Victoria manager Geoff Ryan said whenever there was significant job losses in the region, or in this case a financial collapse, people were in need of extra assistance.
Mr Ryan said from Monday to Thursday, people could come to Anglicare’s relief centre between 10am and 12pm and on Friday, the Anglican Church in Sebastopol was open during the same hours.
“Anyone who has been badly affected by the collapse, or think they will find Christmas hard, contact us for assistance,” he said.
“We may be able to provide food or other help and we’ve also starting to take orders for our Christmas hampers.”
Coordinator of relief services Pauline Prebble said during the John Valves shut-down, Anglicare received a spike in requests for help.
“It was a completely different situation, but when that happened we were able to help a lot of people out before Christmas,” she said.
“Last year we distributed 1300 hampers which was about a hundred up on the year before. I’ve got a feeling this year could be even bigger.”
Mrs Prebble said all sorts of people might be affected by the Banksia collapse, just like all sorts of people can experience any sort of hardship.
She said homelessness in Ballarat was a “significant issue” and could affect the elderly, teenagers, university students and anyone else.
“We get people coming to us each month and there’s always a different address - I call that homeless,” she said.
“If anyone is having trouble, they can certainly contact us for help.”
Anyone wishing to help donate funds or food items to help the needy this Christmas can call Anglicare Ballarat on 5331 1183.