Like the rest of Australia and all around the world, life in West Wimmera Shire is changing as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions.
We know this is a difficult time for our community and we’re particularly mindful of people who are most vulnerable and socially isolated. We’re working to ensure our community stays connected and gets the services they need.
If you or your family are struggling to put food on the table, we can help. Please call 13 WWSC and speak to our intake team. All calls are confidential
Coronavirus hotline - 1800 675 398 - for health information, self-isolating and breaches
Local coronavirus hotline - 1800 195 114 - For those seeking local support during the coronavirus pandemic
Counselling, local support and rural outreach
24-hour Mental Health Triage - 1300 661 323
Headspace Horsham (12-25 years) - 5381 1543
Grampians Community Health - 5358 7400
LOCAL Rural Outreach - 1300 688 732
Sexual Assault & Family Violence Centre - 1800 806 292
Rural Financial Counselling - 0427 340 621 or 0408 347 000
Ashley Grant Counselling - 0403 034 590 - Free service on Wednesday and Thursday nights between 7pm to 9pm
Kaniva Shared Ministry - 5392 2301 or 0448 127 959
Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital - 5585 9800
Harrow Bush Nursing Centre - 5588 2000
West Wimmera Health Service - 5391 4292
Rural Doctors Kaniva - 5323 5770
Edenhope Medical Clinic - 5585 9888
Local business doing deliveries
Edenhope Foodworks - 5585 1501
Edenhope butcher - 5585 1597
Kaniva IGA - 5392 2250
Kaniva Pharmacy - 5392 2373
Edenhope Pharmacy - 5585 1069
Horsham Christian Emergency Food Centre - 5381 2311
Centre for Participation - 5382 5607
ANZ - 1800 351 548
Bendigo Bank - 1300 236 344
Commonwealth Bank - 132 607
NAB - 1300 769 650
Westpac - 132 142
Centrelink - 132 316
Business Victoria - 132 215
Other assistance services
BeyondBlue - 1300 224 636 - www.beyondblue.org.au
Kids Help Line (5-25 years) - 1800 551 800 - www.kidshelpline.com.au
Suicide Helpline - 1300 651 251 - www.suicidehelpline.org.au
Lifeline - 131 114 - www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467 - www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978 - www.mensline.org.au
Red Cross - 1800 131 701 - www.redcross.org.au
Nurse-On-Call - 1300 606 024
Salvation Army - 1300 662 217 - www.salvationarmy.org.au
Income Support for Individuals
A six-month supplement of $550 a fortnight for persons aged 22 to retirement age, who are unemployed or temporarily unable to work, and not in receipt of JobKeeper payment from an employer. Residence conditions and a means test apply. Assets tests have been suspended for this and several other benefits.
Test isolation payment
Victorian workers can apply for a $300 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment that provides financial support while they self-isolate to wait for the results of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
Worker support payment
If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case, you may be eligible for the $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment that provides financial support while you are quarantining at home as instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16 who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or is a close contact of a confirmed case and you have been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to self-isolate or quarantine, you may also be eligible for the $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment.
Red Cross emergency relief
From late April, the Red Cross will distribute one-off packages of food and essential items to eligible persons and families on temporary visas, funded by the Federal Government.
Phone: 1800 675 398
Help paying for electricity, gas or water
The Victorian Government Utility Relief Grant Scheme provides eligible Victorians with Pensioner, Health Care or Veterans Gold cards, and who are facing financial hardship or high rental costs, with up to $650 on each utility type across a two-year period or $1,300 for those with a single source of energy. Apply to electricity, gas or water retailers.
Housing tenants and people at risk of homelessness
Residential tenants or those living in a rooming house, social housing, a caravan park or specialist disability accommodation, may apply to break a lease early if the event of financial hardship.
Landlords may not evict those who wish to stay, except in the event of damage to property, criminal activity or serious violence, else if a tenant can pay rent but refuses to do so. Neither may tenants be listed on a residential tenancy database (blacklist) if they are unable to pay rent due to coronavirus.
Payment of personal loans, including housing loan repayments
Some banks have eased conditions of repayment of loans to customers in financial hardship, including deferral or restructuring of home loan repayments.
Phone and internet discounts
Telstra is offering unlimited standard home phone calls for pensioners, abolishing late payment fees for bills from 19 March to 30 June 2020, and discounting fees for customers on JobSeeker payments.
Optus is offering customers the option of suspending their current plan if they do not require the service, while temporarily waiving late payment fees and suspending disconnection and credit collection activities.
There are a number of initiatives running in the community to help people stay connected
Are you feeling lonely or socially disconnected?
You are not alone. For many Victorians, physical distancing and social or work-related restrictions have led to feelings of loneliness and disconnection. For people who were already feeling lonely or isolated before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s been even harder to get help.
All of us need social connection to feel happy and well. We also need people we can turn to when we need help. That’s why it is important to reach out if you feel lonely or disconnected.
You can get help on the phone and from your community
If you are experiencing loneliness or social disconnection due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you can receive support from the Australian Red Cross and local community organisations with just one call to the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398.
This help is provided as part of the Victorian Government’s Community Activation and Social Isolation initiative.
What happens when I call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline?
Your call will be answered by a caring Australian Red Cross volunteer who will speak to you about your needs and the help that could make you feel more connected. They can also provide a friendly ear if you are distressed or anxious.
If you would like, the volunteer can put you in touch with a community connector in your area. This person will arrange for you to get the help you need safely and locally.
What help can I get form the community connector?
Your local ‘community connector’ will call you to organise supports available in your local area. The supports themselves can be provided from a range of organisations such as multicultural organisations, universities of the third age, neighbourhood houses, men’s sheds and volunteer groups to name a few. They might include:
- Emotional support such as regular chats with a like-minded local.
- Practical help such as running errands or helping people to video chat with friends and family.
- Social activities such as linking into online book clubs, fitness groups or volunteering opportunities.
Wimmera Social Support
Centre for Participation can put you in contact with like-minded people. Volunteers can assist you with activities like Skyping loved ones, playing your favourite card games, sending a card or letter to a friend through the post and much more.
Centre for Participation can also help people do their shopping and attend appointments.
Kindness with a pen
Wimmera Health Care Group is inviting children of the Wimmera to send in letters and stories, including drawings and pictures. The health care group will then shares these with aged care residents and display them around aged care homes to help brighten people's day.
Love your community Kaniva
A Facebook page designed to help the Kaniva community come together.
Doing some form of exercise is an easy and free way to boost both your mental and physical health, and now is the ideal time to try a new activity.
VicHealth has a variety of resources to help you get moving at home.