October Member of the Month – Bendigo Community Health Services

Bendigo Community Health Services are Good360’s October Member of the Month! Bendigo Community Health Services is a Not-for-Profit organisation working with their community to achieve healthier lives. They have a range of primary and community health services including general health, families and children, mental health and counselling, alcohol and other drugs, sexual health, men’s and women’s health clinics, the LGBTQIA+ community, and refugee settlement and support. We spoke with Bendigo Community Health Services Community Engagement and Communications Executive, Rod Case about how Good360 has helped them achieve their goals since joining in 2019.

What programs do you use your Good360 donations for? Who does the program serve? How does it impact Australians in need?

We tend to use Good360 donations for clients across all our programs – we direct them to those most in need. But the donations have had the most positive impact on clients with our Refugee, Strong Families and Allied Health teams. Many of our clients most in need do not have the means to buy essential day to day products let alone gifts or presents. The Good360 donations are bringing joy to their lives and you can’t put a price on that. It’s also important to remember that in many cases it’s the emotional toll not being able to care for your family or children takes on a parent that does the most damage and these donations allow us to help our clients in this area.

What is your favourite moment/interaction that you have had with a client when utilising the Good360 product?

Senior Empower Packs.

We provided these packs to some of our elderly Allied Health Clients who live alone and have little community interaction beyond appointments with our staff. When we delivered a Good360 bag to one client her response was: ‘And why do I deserve this … it’s very thoughtful of you and the company that donated the goods’. Our staff member explained that we thought she would appreciate the bag as she’d been unwell in hospital. The client said she has also struggled given her family are in all in Melbourne and unable to visit due to Coronavirus restrictions. She was very appreciative. Our staff member said: “I think she was hoping I could come in for a visit and good chat, but unfortunately, told her it was just a quick visit at the front door!”

Right there, is the value of Good360 and these donations.

How does Good360 help your mission?

Our mission is to work hand in hand with the community to achieve healthier lives. That means supporting our clients to ensure they can live a healthy lifestyle. Good360’s support allows us to provide essential items and gifts to ensure our clients can look after themselves and their families. You can’t underestimate the power of the joy involved when someone does something nice for you out of the blue. These donations bring happiness and remind our clients that there are people out there who care for them. Powerful stuff.

What would happen if Good360 wasn’t here to help?

It’s clear that without the support of Good360 our clients would be in danger of missing out. We would have to use valuable program funds to purchase items such as nappies to continue supporting these clients or try and source items from other organisations. Good360 and the businesses that support them play such an important role in helping us care for our clients and we’re truly appreciative of that help.

What is your favourite donation you have received from Good360? Why? 

The school packs were great. They went to some of our Karen refugee families who have not been in Australia for very long. It was at a time of going into remote learning, so the resources were really helpful for several members of the families who study, not just primary aged students. People were staying home due to COVID restrictions and not going to shop for school resources like this.

Our Karen staff visited families in a COVID safe manner to deliver the packs, and people were happy to see staff, chat and go through their bag of “goodies”.  We have families who greatly value education and in many, we find every family member is studying. Children at primary and high schools and mum and dad in English classes. It was a bit of discovery to go through the different resources, not just paper and pens. The diary in particular is great for writing down appointments and tasks that need attention. 

How many lives have you impacted through Good360’s donations? (estimate)

Hundreds in the past two years.

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