Executive officer at Hills Community Aid, Mici Beer says the past year has been the busiest in the services 51 year history.
In 2022 HCA helped 2,824 clients with emergency relief , an increase of 289% from the previous year.
HCA’s Financial inclusion program gave out $311,000 in gift cards to buy food this year which was up from $170,000 in the previous financial year _ an increase of nearly 83%.
More than 7,200 people were referred to HCA’s financial inclusion program during the 2022 financial year (7276).
Former HCA President Maria Kovacic, who retired earlier this year after 7 years on the Board, said: ”I am very proud of what we have achieved. (HCA) is the benchmark organisation in Western Sydney.”
Allan Gibson who took over from Maria said in his report at Wednesday’s AGM (December 14th) that HCA was an “essential part” of maintaining and supporting the social fabric of the community in both good times and troubled times.
Hills Shire Mayor Peter Gangemi said told HCA members at the AGM: What you do for people in the Hills is absolutely invaluable. “You have achieved a lot this year.”
Patron Michelle Byrne said the challenge for Hills Community Aid during the year had been to service more and more people on a limited budget with limited resources.
“It is vital that we continue to work together to ensure HCA is sustainable and in a position to help even more people as the population in the Hills continues to increase significantly”
As well as providing financial support services Hills Community Aid also runs a homework group for students in years 5 to 12 , supported playgroup, Parents Again playgroup for foster carers/kinship carers and grandparent carers and Family Fun Days, school holiday workshops.
Its extensive community engagement programs include Learning in the Hills and Hills Daily Grind which runs a Cafe Connect program to upskill young people with barista skills. Safer Communities program and a community transport program and community bus.
To find out more about Hills Community Aid visit the website at https://hca.org.au.