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our history

Just A Snippet ......


Community Support and Outreach Services Central Coast (Community SOS)  has been providing the Central Coast with a variety of programs for over three decades, since our inauguration in October 1970. 


Feb 1971 -

  • Office opened in Mann Street, Gosford, open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am till 4pm. Gosford Council provided premises, phone and $200 per annum. We have always been dependant on community donations to operate and develop our services. 

  • Originally known as Gosford Shire Community Service, we were the first non-Government Community organisation on the Central Coast, and only the fifth in New South Wales.


1972 – 1977 –

  • Gosford Shire Community Service  grew to provide essential programs such as general home help, child minding, gardening, minor home maintenance, shopping, accommodation, transport, visiting services, phone reassurance, information services, referral, emergency relief, service to migrants and an after-hours referral service.


  • We pride ourselves on being pioneers for the training of volunteers, including counselling services, practical help for single parents and services for the frail aged and disabled on the Central Coast. We also supported the establishment of other services, including Gosford Geriatric Day Centre. Furthermore, we assisted Committees in Wyong, Cessnock and Singleton to create their own Community Centres.


1977 –

  • Established a short-term emergency accommodation service

  • Terrigal Day Care commenced. By 1978 funding for a Centre Coordinator was kindly provided by Youth and Community Services (now DoCS) and Gosford Council agreed to co-fund the Coordinators wages.


1980 –

  • Organisation moved to new premises in Henry Wheeler Place and the new long/occasional care Centre for Children was established.

  • September - took over the management of Kibble Park Rest Centre and Tea Rooms

  • Provided Assistance to the foundation Committee of Lifeline, who operated from the Centre.


1981 –

  • Emergency Accommodation moved to a large house able to accommodate 20 clients. This was the genesis of what is now known as Coast Shelter.



  • Our organisation became a Company, officially changing its name to Gosford City Community & Information Service Limited.

  • A Family Day Care scheme was funded for Gosford that same year, and in November we employed a Financial Counsellor.


1984 –

  • Construction of the organisation’s Youth Hostel, known as “Rumbalara”


1985 –

  • Began important programs as Palliative Day Care and Dementia Day Care Centre.


By 1994 –

  • Began services such as Family Day Care, Long Day Child Care, Confused Elderly Programme, In-home Respite Care, Community Visitors Scheme, Community Counselling Programme, Financial Counselling, Tax Help and Emergency Relief. The effectiveness of these programs was so great that many were re-auspiced, becoming stand-alone services or transferring to Area Health Services.


2000 –

  • 400 families using Family Day Care, 40 referrals per month and 35 clients reciving home help.


2001 –

There is a major restructure of the service:

  • Separation of Community Care Services and Family Day Care, Our service to the Central Coast community continues in Narara.

  • Kibble Kafe closes due to financia;l pressures and an ageing facility in need of substantial repair.

  • The Neighbourhood Centre moves to Narara along with Financial Counselling and Emergency Relief services.

2001-2004 -

  • Free homework support is established.

  • Expansion of financial counselling, emergency relief and tax help.

  • Increased funding for financial counselling ot extend to Wyong, with outreach now occuring in 3 places - Wyong, Coast Shelter and Gosford CBD.

  • Pilot project Credit Smart begins to educate highschool students in good money management and a school breakfast programme begins at Terrigal Public School then extending to Gosford Public.

2004 - 2009 -

  • Wyoming Public School and Narara Valley High School join the School Breakfast programme.

  • Gosford City Council approves the use of land adjacent Carrington Oval to establish a community garden.

  • Financial counselling is now funded for 49 hours per week through a successful application to the office of Fair Trading.

2009-2010 - 

  • The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FACHSIA) funds a caseworker as part of the emergency relief service. In this financial year over 27,500 disadvantaged people are assisted.

  • The service establishes a No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).

  • Room hire increases and we have the best year financailly since moving to Naraar but are dealt a blow by Council withdrawing funding from the service to pursue other interests. We enter a period of rebuilding again.

2011 - 2015 -

  • The Gosford graffiti Art Project was established through a successful application  through the Department of Human Services.  An artist was employed to link young people to the braoder community via aerosol art, teaching them the safe use of aerosols and how to design and paint a mural in connection with local businesses and schools.  The program was initially a three year term but due to it's success was extended a further year.

  • Our Central Coast Region Financial Counselling Service now operates in 5 regular outreach locations at Wyong, San Remo Neighbourhoos Centre/Bluehaven Community Centre, Gosford CBD, Mingaletta Corporation (Umina), and The Glen Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre, but extended also to some casual outreach such as The Entrance commuity Centre and Louise House at Gorokan.

  • In 2014 - Laraine Sieff retires after 13 years of service as manager of the organisation.

  • In 2015, the organisation suffers an unexpected major setback when emergency relief funding isn't renewed but distributed to larger organisations outside of the Central Coast.  This results in a huge loss for our local community and collaborative partnerships for a service we provided for 40 years. The loss of funding and the ending of the Gosford Graffiti Art project creates a financial loss for the organisation putting it at risk of insolvency.  A new manager, Vivian Muraahi is employed and begins to rebuild to bring the organisation to financial stability.

  • Application to the ATO to register as a public benevolent institution is successful and DGR status is granted.

  • New service caleed EAPA (Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme) begins to help people struggling to pay their energy bills.

2016-2019 - 

  • The organisations finances are back to a place of stability through increase in room hires, restructuring of financial management and tightening of budgets, as well as the success of grant applications.

  • Expansion of the Financial Counselling and Financial Capability program through secured funding from the Department of Social Services, allowing for the employment of extra financail counsellors and Foinancail Capability worker.  Outreach now operates in 7 locations around the Coast, adding The Entrance Neighbourhood centre, Coast Shelter, Woy Woy Vinnies and Kincumber Neighbourhood centre but has to drop Gosford Vinnies and Mingaletta due to changes in staff and days of availability. 

  • Gosford City NILS expands its operation due to a delivery model reform to the NILS program by Good Shepherd resulting in the program being split into two areas - Client Support provider and Loans Management. Success for our organisation to operate in the Collaborative Model enabling us to provide both Client Support locally, and Loans Management nationally. 

  • A new pilot program begins in partnership with Bendigo Bank,  Community Enterprise Foundation and Catholic Care to deliver a microfinance program for middle income women who have fled or are fleeing a domestic violence situation, giving them access to funds of up to $10,000.  The program is called Relief Beyond Crisis and begins with 3 women.

  • 2018 - a new operating name and a rebranding for our organisation is created called Community SOS Central Coast with SOS standing for ' Support and Outreach Services" and a new motto - Supporting Community. Reaching Out With Care.

2020 - 

  • The Relief Beyond Crisis Program is officially launched and there are now 12 women who have been helped with microfinance.  Some of the areas include help with legal fees, setting up a new home, relocation and educational costs.

  • The organisation has reached a point of financail stability and security and is trhiving well.

  • March 2020 - COVID 19 pandemic strikes and teh world is experiencing the devastation of this virus.  The Narara Community Centre (like all businesses and establuishments) are forced into a lockdown resulting in staff working from home and loss of room hire revenue.  the lockdown creates the need to delve into technolgy solution sin order to continue to provide client services via zoom and phone appointments.  Nationally, the country is in turmoil with loss of jobs and sickenss and death from the virus, never experienced like this before in Australia.  The Government provides cash flow boosts to businesses and increases Jobseeker payments to the unemployed to assist with living costs and prevent businesses closing however, not all survived.  we see an increase in suicide, mental health issues and domestic violence as well as people accessing emergency relief services for the first time.  We see a some reduction in clients accessing help due to the virus and lack of access to technolgy resources.

  • July 2020 - restrictions ease and the Narara Comunity Centre reopens but with limited access.  Room Hire is restricted to the permanent hirers only and casual hires within business hours.  Client numbers beginning to increase with face to face becoming available. 

  • We have one of our biggest years in the NILS program with loan management and client support making us 1st in the country (excluding Tasmanania)  fo rthe number of people assisted with loans.

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