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The NSW Government has delivered a lifeline to community organisations on the frontline of service delivery in NSW during recent bushfires, drought, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

These organisations offer a range of services to the most vulnerable, including providing emergency shelter, supporting women facing family violence, delivering food for those in financial distress and much more.

During 2020 they have faced increased demand and complexity and reduced capacity to fundraise, which has meant they have had to adapt delivery models while their balance sheets have taken a hit.

Today’s pre-Budget announcement of a $50 million Social Sector Transformation Fund will allow organisations to adapt and modernise operations to keep up with demand.

Importantly, the fund will be used to improve digital service delivery, remote working capabilities and build capacity in the sector.

The announcement follows sustained advocacy efforts from NCOSS and other peak organisations, and the release of recent modelling showing the sector is facing increased demand.

NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the sector has faced drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have all placed significant strain on their organisations and staff.

“Social services organisations play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable and they have had to adapt the way they work over the past year,” Ms Quilty said.

“These services employ dedicated and experienced staff who are dealing with increased demand and increasing complexity.

“They are serving people who can have complex needs and during the COVID-19 pandemic have had to respond to this growing demand in a very difficult service delivery landscape.

“The entire sector has risen to the task but faces a challenging future to meet rising demand. With the right policies we can support those most at risk and rebuild our state to lift all citizens up.

“We have argued that it is vitally important that governments step up and help the frontline workers and organisations who help so many during times of crisis, and the NSW Government has acted.

“This fund will enable social services organisations to secure some of the positive changes they’ve made, so they can continue to transform to meet the challenges of the future.

“We thank Minister Ward and Treasurer Perrottet for delivering this vital support.”

Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138