Vinnies and Coronavirus:

Answering Your Questions

Thursday 23 April 2020

As an organisation working with vulnerable members of the community, we are always mindful of the health and safety of the people we assist. We’re also committed to the wellbeing of our members, volunteers and staff as well as our customers.

How is Vinnies NSW responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are continuing to provide assistance to people experiencing hardship and disadvantage during this difficult time. The impact of COVID-19 has caused the society to adapt the way we deliver service to the people we assist. If you require assistance, please call us on 13 18 12.

We are closely following the advice of the government, Chief Medical Officer and health authorities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It is a fast-moving situation, and we are reassessing day-by-day to ensure we are meeting the latest advice.

All Vinnies NSW staff who can work from home have been advised to do so. There are certain teams who will continue to work onsite in our essential services, including crisis accommodation and food supply services. Alcohol and other drug services continue to deliver service externally through phone and online. Some of our logistics and distribution centre team members will also continue to work onsite collecting donations from designated points, in line with advice from government.

Where our services remain open, we are taking all necessary measures to ensure they are safe. We have made hand sanitiser available to staff and people we assist; distributed government and health department advice on hand hygiene; coughing and sneezing etiquette; social distancing; and instructions for self-isolating if you are unwell, have recently returned from overseas or if you have been in contact with someone who may have been exposed.

Will Vinnies NSW continue to operate its shops and services?

Vinnies NSW continues to assist people in the community who are experiencing poverty, homelessness and disadvantage. Currently our essential services remain open wherever this is safe and possible, in line with advice from government and health authorities.

We have made the difficult decision to close all Vinnies Shops temporarily. People can continue to donate goods at eight Donation Stations sites in the Sydney metro area, as well as all charity bins in regional areas. We ask that people do not dump items outside shops if bins are full.

The majority of our Vinnies Services have adapted to the current challenges by delivering service through phone and online measures. Some services have implemented changes such as restricted hours and reduced program activity.

For the time being, we have ceased visiting people in their homes, while Vinnies Support Centres (Hubs and Community Service Centres) are closed to walk-ins. We are continuing to support people through phone contact and arranging for food and household essentials to be dropped off to those in need.

To access support contact your local Conference or call 13 18 12.

We are determined to be there for people in need during this difficult time.

Are Vinnies Shops in NSW accepting donations?

In response to COVID-19, we’ve temporarily closed our Vinnies Shops around the state.

As we all respect our wider community by staying safe indoors, we understand it’s an ideal time for a spring clean so have been working to provide a solution while we’re closed. We’ve had lot of feedback that our customers and supporters would still love to donate to us so we’ve launched our new donation collection service, Donation Stations across Sydney. Each of these donation drop-off points are now ready to accept quality donations of clothes, bric-a-brac, books and household items.

Donations to our charity bins are still being regularly collected. We ask that people do not dump items outside shops if bins are full. Find your nearest Vinnies donation bin.

If you have furniture you would like to donate, please send your enquiry to furnituredonations@vinnies.org.au

Can Vinnies help people who have been impacted by COVID-19?

Yes. We are still operating our day-to-day services, including providing food, clothing, household items and financial assistance for people struggling to get by.

If your personal situation has been impacted the best way to reach out for our support is to call us on 13 18 12.

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