A COMMUNITY group helping Frankston people “who have nowhere else to turn for help” has commemorated its 50th anniversary.
Community Support Frankston, originally the Frankston Citizens’ Advice Bureau, began offering help in the area in 1968 and is a place where food and shopping vouchers are available to those in need.
CSF also offers information, support and advocacy for people with problems paying bills, housing costs or essential medical and essential medicines bills.
The group is calling for more volunteers to try to help more people in the years ahead.
“While our organisation is proud to be reaching such a milestone, we wish we could be doing more to assist the increasing number of people in Frankston experiencing financial hardship,” CSF manager Steven Phillips said.
Volunteers are put through nationally accredited training to provide support to people with complex needs.
In the past financial year, CSF volunteers responded to more than 10,000 face to face assistance sessions, a record number requests for help in the agency’s history.
The organisation’s 50th anniversary was marked with a letter of congratulations from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
“Over the years, CSF has played an important role in supporting the local community, delivering essential services, providing emergency relief and advocating on behalf of those in need,” Mr Turnbull said in the letter.
“Through these efforts, CSF has helped meet the changing needs of the local community and nurtured capacity, connection and opportunity.
“On this special anniversary, I commend staff and volunteers — past and present — for your commitment to making a difference, and wish you continued success.”
Mr Phillips said Frankston Council will recognise CSF’s five decades of continuous service to residents in the municipality at a civic reception later this year.
“While federal government funding for emergency relief has reduced in recent years and state government funding for the sector is non-existent, Frankston City Council has always been and remains an important partner.”
Last financial year, CSF’s volunteers contributed 15,372 hours into services that aim to make life better for people in Frankston.
“With 99 per cent of our staff being volunteers, it just goes to show that it takes a community to make a community,” Mr Phillips said.
CSF is looking to connect with as many of the centre’s 800-plus past volunteers as possible.
If you, or someone you know has volunteered with CSF (previously known as Frankston Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Frankston Community Support and Information Centre) contact Steven Phillips by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 9783 7284.