CatholicCare NT’s FWC (Financial Wellbeing and Capability) team in Katherine sprang into action with the communities’ first ever snap COVID lockdown. Day one saw the whole office implement our Katherine COVID plan swiftly. We noticed only a slight increase in demand for Emergency Relief that afternoon with some families stranded in Katherine on their way to surrounding and locked out communities. This demand increased to unprecedented numbers for our services on day 2 and continued to grow throughout the lockdown period. The main focus was keeping people safe and helping individuals and families with vouchers for food and temporary accommodation. The team promptly adjusted operations and set up a desk at the front gate, handing out PPE to those waiting and providing from a safe distance, Emergency Relief in the way of food vouchers, food hampers and power credit. We responded to call outs for help from Territory Families and Territory Housing and other agencies, and dropped food hampers to the homes of the elderly and vulnerable. Late on the second day we travelled to Binjari community to provide masks, baby supplies, food provisions and power cards to 5 families.
In 4 days of lockdown, the Katherine FWC team liaised with local providers and responded to the needs of community members and dispensed over 300 allocations of Emergency Relief.
Francis, our FWC worker is pictured below with Bronwyn and her 3 kids. Bronwyn reported feeling grateful for our support. Her family got stuck in Katherine on their way from Tennant Creek to Darwin for a funeral. Bronwyn said our workers made it easy for her family to stay in Katherine and feel safe. She said the food vouchers and accommodation helped her kids because at first they had nowhere to go and she didn’t know what to do when the bus stopped.
Here’s Matt below, another one of our Financial Wellbeing and Capability Case Managers, helping local community members from our temporary office set up. The team set up a non-contact, friendly service delivery system for the community. Participants below accessed much needed food vouchers to accommodate for extra family members staying at their house.
And here’s a photo of 4 of the 5 legendary FWC team at the end of lockdown!
A big thanks goes out to all of the Katherine team this week but especially our FWC team – Lee, Mel, Sam, Matt and Francis (missing from photo). Your hard work and dedication to supporting on all levels; your participants, surrounding agencies and Government Departments is commendable. What a team!