Blue Mountains News

Community Recovery Support Program Launches in Lithgow

Source: Lithgow City Council
Posted: 11 Apr 2020
Lithgow residents affected by the recent bush fires or other emergency events can now access a free recovery support program.

Gateway Family Services have launched the Step by Step Recovery Support Service in Lithgow.

The program supported the Blue Mountains community to recover after the 2013 bushfires. It is now being rolled out to the Lithgow area and is again being funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

Lithgow Mayor, Cr Ray Thompson has welcomed the activation of the service, which is even more important in these increasingly uncertain times.

“The Step by Step Recovery Support Service will play a key role in rebuilding,” Mayor Thompson said.

“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. 

“This support service assisted over 520 individuals and households in the Blue Mountains after the 2013 bushfires and I have no doubt they will be critical in our community’s recovery”. 

“People need someone to talk to. We live in unprecedented, stressful times, and 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 Lithgow Information and Neighbourhood Centre (LINC) for many years”, concluded the Mayor.

Step by Step is focused 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.

The service will connect with affected households throughout Lithgow.

In light of the most recent government measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Step by Step will be working creatively to continue to stay connected with people in ways that protect their health and wellbeing.  Step by Step will use a variety of methods and tools 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: “Our service is 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.”

“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 whether it’s over the phone, video chat or email just 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 Step by Step Recovery Support Service call 0417 298 832 or . The Service is available Monday to Saturday, 9am-6pm and can be accessed by phone and online via email or Step by Step’s Facebook page.

Working together to ensure members of our community have fair and equitable access to services which meets their needs, is part of Council’s Caring for Our Community Strategy in the Community Strategic Plan 2030 available on Council’s website.

 
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