Celebrating 10 Years of NILS
3-Dec-2019 - We are very proud that we have reached 10 years of providing NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme) to the community. Its been a great journey and we have been through many changes to the program. We thank the community, our partners, clients and Good Shepherd Micro-finance for their ongoing support as we look forward to the next 10 years.
We started back in 2009, by the end of June 2010 we had 40 loans to the value of $37,857. Now, in November 2019 we have 3,108 loans to the value of just over $2.9 million. The Scheme is very popular and has assisted many people to get back on the financial continuum.
For many people on low incomes, paying for essential goods and services is extremely difficult, and the effects of going without can be huge. Going without a computer can result in children being left behind at school which can affect their future employment, housing and financial stability; going without a fridge can mean that fresh food or essential medications cannot be stored leading to poor health outcomes.
Financial inclusion and especially micro-finance plays a key role in enabling strength-based community development that creates better connected and inclusive communities.
National Child Protection Week
1st to 7th September 2019
Annual General Meeting 2019
18-Sep-2019 - Today Gosford City Community & Information Ltd. the entity name for Community Support & Outreach Services Central Coast (Community SOS) held its Annual General Meeting. Our thanks goes to Herbert 'Bert' Walker (pictured) our retiring Chairman for his service. According to Bert, "When I commenced in the position four years ago we initiated a transformation that is now starting to deliver results......Our customers tell us that the quality of our work is good and getting better."
Community SOS Central Coast is supporting National Child Protection Week from Sunday the 1st of September to Saturday the 7th of September. This year's theme is children thrive when their parents are supported. More information can be found at the NAPCAN website.
For each day of National Child Protection Week we are featuring a brochure for parents and carers. See below.
Day #1 Listening to children - Features tips on interacting and communicating with children.
Day #2 Being a dad - Tips for men to develop effective parenting skills as their child grows.
Day #3 Listening to young people - Tips on how to understand and be a good listener to young people.
Day #4 The importance of play - Explains why play is so important in a child’s development and tips for parents on how to play with their child.
Day #5 30 Ways to boost a child’s confidence - Simple strategies to build a child’s self-esteem.
Day #6 Keeping children safe from sexual abuse - Outlines sexual abuse facts, offers tips on how to keep a child safe from sexual abuse & how to react if a child has experienced sexual abuse.
Day #7 Ways to support and encourage a child’s right to speak and be heard - Tips on supporting and encouraging children and young people’s voice.
The full library of brochures can be found here on the NAPCAN website.
Why you can still be charged double for consumer goods, years after Government pledged crackdown
8-May-2019 - According to an ABC News story advocates are angry vulnerable Australians are still being "harmed" by payday loans and high-cost appliance contracts, years after the Federal Government promised to crack down on the practice. Go to the full story.
New micro-finance program of up to $10,000
is being trialed on the Central Coast for victims of Domestic Violence
19-Feb-2019 - The trial is underway with a small number of participants to assess its effectiveness helping women who are trying to leave or have left a family and domestic violence situation on the Central Coast. The new program called “Relief Beyond Crisis” will enable survivors to access additional financial support of up to $10,000 to help cover the costs of leaving and setting up a new life.
Lack of suitable finances can make it hard to leave a domestic violence situation and so this program is designed to make it easier to make the move. The money can be used for those expenses needed to setup in a new home, including bond payments, household goods and in some cases a small second-hand car, some assistance with service payments such as rates, arrears and other eligible costs and in some cases re-establishing a small business.
Bendigo Bank will work with Community Support & Outreach Services Central Coast (Community SOS) and Catholic Care to roll out the support program. Access to the service will be via referrals from partnering organisations.
When a $2,000 credit card would take 17 years to pay off
5-Jul-2018 - The ABC ran a story showing if you pay just the minimum repayments on a $2,000 credit card balance, it would take 17 years to pay off and you would spend more than $5,000 for that $2,000 loan. Go to the full story.
Change of Name But not a Change of Heart
Gosford City Community and Information Services (GCCIS Ltd) is changing it’s trading name to Community Support and Outreach Services Central Coast to bring the organisation more in line with it’s vision, mission and purpose to offer practical help and support to the people of our community to build for a positive future, address immediate concerns, and connect community.
Operating out of the Narara Community Centre, the organisations programs include Central Coast Region Financial Counselling Service, Gosford City NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme) and Gosford Narara Neighbourhood Centre which facilitates playgroups, parenting groups or other educational programs and/or activities.
CEO, Vivian Muraahi shares: “The reason we are rebranding is because we feel that our current name does not truly reflect who we are and what we do as a community organisation. We are passionate about helping people in our community and our heart is to provide support and assistance wherever we can. Unfortunately our legal name Gosford City Community & Information Services has confused people into thinking we were a department of Central Coast Council, and even more so when the tourist information centre in Gosford CBD closed down in 2017.
The new trading name: Community Support and Outreach Services Central Coast or (Community SOS for short), with it’s tagline – ‘Supporting community. Reaching out with care’ embraces all that we do. Our specialised service, Central Coast Region Financial Counselling Service (CCFCS) operates it’s outreach services over much of the Central Coast. Our counsellors provide these services in Wyong, Umina, Chittaway, The Entrance, Narara and Gosford CBD. Gosford City NILS has now become a national service with the loan management side of the program. Our client support is also gearing up to operate outreach to more remote locations.
Vivian Muraahi adds: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our service to the community and provide greater access or support to those in need. We are always looking for viable partnerships that we can work with to fill a need or a gap in service provision to create a more sustainable and more inclusive community.”
Help with debt.
An informative clip about what you can do about debt when it overtakes you.
Forever In Your Debt | The Checkout
Zoë Norton Lodge looks into the debt relief industry and tells you how you can help yourself, for free Check out more of The Checkout on iview:
This is a great clip on how Financial Counsellors can help you. Contact our Centre if you want to discuss your situation. It's free and confidential. Ph. 43294477
Work and Development Orders (WDOs)
offer a way foward to people who can't pay their fines. This innovative program lets you pay off the debt with volunteer work, treatment programs, counselling, courses and other activities. Anyone who is homeless, has intellectual disability, cognitive impairment, mental health or addiction issues, or who is in serious financial hardship is eligible.