"Giving account" to offer support

A GANNAWARRA Giving Account has been established by Northern District Community Health to support farming families and other citizens.

The account, which was modelled on one created during the 2011 floods, would help make sure children continue to play sport and have fun by contributing to the costs of uniforms, equipment and activities.

Funds could also be used to contribute to other individual and community needs. 

NDCH chief executive officer, Mandy Hutchinson said decisions about use of money from the account would be made by a small panel consisting of staff from Gannawarra Shire Council, NDCH and the north-west Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria.

"We'll make sure it will be used wisely and confidentially," she said.

Gannawarra mayor, Cr Lorraine Learmonth, who will be the patron of the account, said the initiative had come about as a result of discussion by the Gannawarra Community Resilience Committee and was part of a 12-month plan to provide "relevant and timely support for our communities." 

The committee, which is made up of representatives from 21 groups and agencies, has been established to get relevant organisations working together in planning and co-ordinating community support across the shire, Cr Learmonth said.

It includes representatives from local health services, emergency services and social support agencies, the State Government, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, the Victorian Farmers Federation and Murray Dairy.

Ms Hutchinson said the initiative had also arisen as a result of NDCH receiving requests to handle donations.

She said getting involved with it by donating realises three of the principles in the shire-wide "5 ways to well-being" strategy, which advises community members to "connect", "take notice" and to "give".

She was very pleased to announce the account was now in place. Ms Hutchinson said that that donations were tax deductible. 

For more information or to make a donation to the Gannawarra Giving Account call Northern District Community Health on (03) 5451 0200.