Anglicare WA opens new facility on Spencer Street, Bunbury

Celebration: Financial Counselling Network principal Celia Dufall, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson, and Anglicare WA regional manager south Lisa Whittaker. Photo: Thomas Munday.
Celebration: Financial Counselling Network principal Celia Dufall, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson, and Anglicare WA regional manager south Lisa Whittaker. Photo: Thomas Munday.

Anglicare WA and the State Government are lending a hand to all those accessing the Hardship Utility Grants Scheme.

A new HUGS Service Centre, located on Spencer Street near the Bunbury CBD, was officially opened on Friday, September 20.

Anglicare WA, government, and Financial Counselling Network representatives were on-hand to cut the ribbon and provide details about the facility.

"Those who are seeking support through HUGS will be able to receive a more comprehensive assessment of their needs, and assistance in accessing other support services," Bunbury MLA Don Punch said.

"Full implementation of the Bunbury HUGS Service Centre was achieved a month earlier than scheduled thanks to strong partnerships across government, the community services sector, and private sector HUGS stakeholders.

"The establishment of this new service centre creates rewarding jobs and training opportunities for local residents."

Through the Financial Counselling Network, Anglicare WA is in charge of operating the facility.

Partnering with job network providers in Bunbury, the organisation recently hired 12 people to work in the centre.

Anglicare WA chief executive officer Mark Glasson said the facility would support those in need.

"The HUGS Service Centre is helping to create more jobs in the area," he said.

"It also provided an opportunity for us to bring all of our services together.

"We really keen to deliver as many services as possible within Bunbury."

The Department of Communities approved close to 15,000 HUGS applications, totalling $7.8 million, during the previous financial year.

The government set aside an additional $1.925 million, in the 2019/2020 budget, for HUGS services.

"Changes made to HUGS over the past 18 months will ensure financial assistance is targeted to those with the greatest need," Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said.

"By introducing third-party assessment, we can better identify people who need other forms of assistance before they reach a critical stage."