Lithgow residents affected by the recent bush fires and other emergency events can now access a free recovery support program.
(min cost $8)
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Gateway Family Services have launched the Step by Step Recovery Support Service in Lithgow.
The program is funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and supported the Blue Mountains community to recover after the 2013 bushfires.
Lithgow City mayor Cr Ray Thompson has welcomed the service and said it would play a key role in rebuilding.
"After drought, fires and now the COVID-19 crisis our community, like many other communities, is hurting.
"We need to ensure that we don't lose sight of those who have lost their homes or suffered from the recent bushfires and Step by Step will assist in providing much needed support," he said.
Cr Thompson said people need someone to talk to in these unprecedented and stressful times.
"No one has to navigate them alone.
"In Lithgow we are pleased to have Leanne Walding working with the service. Leanne is well-known throughout the community having worked at LINC for many years," he said.
The Step by Step service will focus on wellbeing, providing immediate emotional and social support.
The program can also help with accessing grants, dealing with applications, insurance issues and by linking people to other recovery resources and services.
In light of the most recent government measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Step by Step will also be working to continue to stay connected with people in ways that protect their health and wellbeing.
A variety of methods and tools will be used to ensure that people are able to continue to access the support and assistance they need.
Step by Step can connect with affected residents over the phone, via email, video calls, FaceTime, messenger, Facebook, monthly newsletters and postal mail-outs.
Step By Step's manager Anne Crestani said the service was about recognising and dealing with challenging life situations.
"We know from experience that when stress levels are high, it can really help to slow down, talk things through and take it step by step," she said.
"We are here to listen, we respect your personal experience, choices and preferences. We walk alongside you, at your pace. We don't take over or try to tell you what you should or shouldn't do."
"We're happy to take the time for a chat to see how you're travelling and to discuss where we may be able to help, whether it's practical assistance, up to date information or psychological and emotional support."
To access the service call 0417 298 832 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Service is available Monday to Saturday, 9am-6pm.
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