Community Support

1. Overview

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.

2. Support from council

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

3. Wimmera support contacts for COVID-19


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 

Health services

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 

Emergency food

Horsham Christian Emergency Food Centre - 5381 2311

Centre for Participation - 5382 5607

Financial support

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

Kids Help Line (5-25 years) - 1800 551

Suicide Helpline - 1300 651

Lifeline - 131

Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467 - 

MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978 -

Red Cross - 1800 131

Nurse-On-Call - 1300 606 024

Salvation Army - 1300 662


4. Income and material support

Income Support for Individuals

JobSeeker Payment

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.

More information

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.

More information

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.  

 More information

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.

More information

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.

More information 

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.

More information 

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.

More information

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.

More information 

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.

More information

5. Stay connected with others

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.

More information

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.

More information

Love your community Kaniva

A Facebook page designed to help the Kaniva community come together.

More information

6. Stay active and healthy 

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.

More information