Support for charities helping Melbourne’s Covid-19 response

13 Jan 2021, James Ireland

Charities on the frontline of Melbourne’s COVID-19 response and recovery are getting a $5,000 boost thanks to Metro Trains’ community grants program.

These are the five charities chosen to receive the grants.

Foodbank Victoria

Foodbank Victoria sustainably source food and key grocery items and distribute to vulnerable Victorians across the state.

The demand for food relief has significantly increased due to the impacts of COVID-19.

This grant will enable Foodbank Victoria to distribute 10,000 meals to those facing economic hardship and food insecurity.

Foodbank Victoria CEO Dave McNamara says, “It’s been a pretty grim year for Victorians. From bushfires to COVID-19, so many hardworking families have found themselves in situations they never imagined, struggling to afford even the basics.

“Thanks to the generosity of supporters like Metro Trains, we’re able to put food on the tables of families doing it tough and hopefully a smile on their face leading into Christmas as well,” says Mr McNamara.

Hands on Health Australia

This funding would contribute to delivering mental health support to Melbourne’s Aboriginal community. Covid has led to a greater need for mental health support so Hands on Health Australia (HoHA) have set up online and phone support services, ensuring the community is safe and able to access the vital support they need.

HoHa CEO Franca Smarrelli says, “Thank you to Metro Trains for supporting HoHA’s community clinic services which support those in much need of health and wellbeing services.”

Launch Housing

This funding will help Launch Housing deliver essential homelessness services and housing support to disadvantaged Victorians. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis they assisted more than 3,000 people into emergency accommodation – ensuring access to safe housing.

The $5,000 grant provides 16 highly vulnerable people with essentials like emergency medication, social worker support, smartphone access, priority COVID-19 screening, clothing, hygiene packs, and food.

General Manager of Campaigns and Engagement Howard Rally says, “The number of people rough sleeping in Melbourne is now known to be five times higher than previously thought.

“This donation of $5,000 from Metro Trains will assist us in supporting the most vulnerable Melburnians that were sleeping rough during Covid-19, while we strive to find them long-term secure housing. We’re grateful for their support”


Since March Lifeline have seen a sustained 25 per cent increase to service delivery of its crisis helpline.

The $5000 grant will help it answer an additional 128 potentially lifesaving calls. With a call every 30 seconds, being able to access those extra people could mean all the difference in their darkest hour.

Lifeline Australia CEO Colin Seery says, “2020 was a year that saw Australian’s reach out to Lifeline more than at any time in our 57-year history.

“After the devastation of prolonged drought, bushfires, floods and then COVID-19 restrictions, it’s been a challenging time for many and the support Lifeline offers Australians has been more important and more needed than ever.

“I am incredibly proud of our ability to respond and I’m grateful to supporters like Metro Trains who have helped make our response possible.”

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre

Safe Steps is a statewide service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence.

When the pandemic hit, a live web chat service was set up so that victim-survivors who had been forced into isolation with perpetrators could still access the help they needed. A $5,000 grant from Metro Trains Melbourne will help provide linen packages for families accessing safe housing.

Safe Steps CEO Rita Butera says, “On behalf of Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre, I would like to thank Metro Trains and their staff for choosing to support our work with this grant. This contribution will help us provide essential crisis services to women and children seeking safety from family violence.

“Everyone in our community has a role to play in responding to family violence, and every contribution makes a difference in the lives of the people we support.”

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