Local pharmacies helping the most vulnerable

5 August 2020|Community News| Off Comments off on Local pharmacies helping the most vulnerable|

LOCAL profit-for-purpose pharmacies are helping to support those facing immediate financial need as families and temporary visa holders face the economic fall-out from COVID-19.

Friendly Care Pharmacies – with pharmacies in Moonah, New Town and Hobart – provide support to local charities through the Hobart Friendly Society.

One recent beneficiary of the Society’s goodwill was CatholicCare Tasmania, based in New Town, which operates an Emergency Relief program to aid those facing immediate financial crisis.

“Emergency relief is just that – relief in the form of vouchers or paying a bill, or part of a bill, at those times when people are in a financial emergency,” executive manager of Community, Family and Children’s Services for CatholicCare Tasmania Michael McKenna said.

No cash is given out, but grocery, petrol and pharmacy vouchers are available, and assistance is tailored to the individual need, which could include urgent car repairs, medical bills, or the purchase of necessary white goods.

In the past 12 months, CatholicCare has distributed funds to more than 1000 families or individuals and has seen a steady increase in requests since COVID-19.

The Emergency Relief statewide coordinator Marianne Curran said staff could field up to 50 calls a day of requests for Emergency Relief.

Mrs Curran said those who had previously accessed help were more often women than men, with them often being single mothers.

However, lately it had been families.

“We’ve got people who have never had to ask for help before who have lost employment through COVID-19,” Mrs Curran said.

Recently, the largest cohort seeking assistance had been temporary visa holders.

“People often break into tears when they realise they are going to receive help,” Mrs Curran said.

“Tears of relief – they just can’t believe that someone would help them like that, it’s just total gratitude.”

The donation from the Hobart Friendly Society will enable CatholicCare Tasmania to provide even more help to those doing it tough.

Hobart Friendly Society group pharmacy manager Matt Luciani said he hoped the Society’s donation would help people access basic necessities like shelter, food and healthcare.

“We exist to help the local Hobart community, and we have recently changed our focus onto vulnerable populations,” he said.

“It is starting at the bottom and working our way up so that we can support the most vulnerable and ensure that our support and donations go towards the people most in need.”

To access Emergency Relief, phone CatholicCare Tasmania on 1800 819 447.

Caption: From left, executive manager of Community, Family and Children’s Services for CatholicCare Tasmania Michael McKenna, with Matt Luciani who presented a donation from the Hobart Friendly Society to aid the Emergency Relief.

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