Focal Point has forged a working relationship with LinC. What is LinC? LinC is a national coordinating and facilitating body. It works on behalf of Churches and Christian Church Support Groups. It channels the churches' resources into the most needy areas of the community. LinC Yarra Valley now operates out of the old Shire Offices (new to them) and is directed by Marilyn Leermakers.
The LinC Office is staffed three days a week by volunteers from the churches. From Marilyn's pen: Anita, a young mum, was just out of hospital following spinal surgery. The challenge of caring for three children whilst convalescing was daunting. A social worker suggested that she call LinC Yarra Valley for help. LinC, a network of volunteers from 10 local churches, was able to find a team of volunteers able to help Anita. Each weekday volunteers assisted with shopping, meal preparationg, childcare and housework until Anita was able to manage.
From January to May 1999, over 1000 volunteer hours have been given in 315 services. Volunteers provide a variety of services to the community - transport to medical appointments/shopping, emergency relief, visitation and home help, to name a few. One of the most frequent referrals received by the LinC referral centre is for transport. Many older people are unable to access public transport and no longer drive. LinC has the use of the Shire car two days per week, and thousands of kilometres per year are clocked by transport volunteers using their own cars.
Mr K lives in East Warburton and has regular hospital appointments in the city. Even if he could access public transport, the travelling time would make the trip unbearable. Mr K enjoys the company of the vounteer who takes him to his appointments. He finds comfort in the knowledge that someone he knows and trusts will pick him up, wait for him and drive home. LinC also liaises where possible, with Red Cross and Eastern Volunteers Resrouce Centre for long trips. LinC drivers transport people to and from Ringwood and EVRC/Red Cross drivers provide transport to the city.
LinC Yarra Valley is hoping to see a LinC office open in Lilydale later this year in response to the increasing number of requests for help received from residents of the Coldstream/Lilydale areas. Churches in the Lilydale area will be invited to participate in the LinC program.
For more information in LinC staffing, or what LinC offers, ring 59672119, 59672338, or 0413517273.