Local residents who have fallen on tough times can now apply for a share of almost $20,000 in funding to help them get back on their feet.
The Bega Valley Shire branch of the Anglicare Regional Alliance received $19,898.36 from the NSW Government on Tuesday, for its work with the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS).
The program, which has been running in the Bega Valley since 2010, assists low-income earners in vulnerable situations to purchase essential household equipment and cover medical expenses.
NSW Minister for Fair Trading Matthew Mason-Cox visited the Bega branch on Tuesday to present the cheque, with a further $13,265 being provided to the Regional Alliance Centre in the Eurobodalla Shire.
“NILS is a practical hand up rather than a hand out, with loans being repaid in more than 95 per cent of cases,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
"This ensures funds are put back into the scheme to assist others and supports loan recipients to establish credit ratings and get finance in the future.
“No Interest Loans offer an alternative to high-cost credit products, such as payday lenders and rent-to-buy schemes, and in doing so, help break the poverty cycle.
“Since coming to the Fair Trading portfolio, I have learnt about the real difference NILS has made to people’s lives through community services such as these.”
NSW Treasurer and Member for Bega Andrew Constance welcomed the additional NILS funding to the region.
“The NILS program has been running locally since 2010 and has supported many local residents who have hit tough times and allowed them to get their life back on track,” he said.
“This scheme supports local families and residents who may otherwise be excluded from access to financial services many of us take for granted.’’
For information on how to apply visit, www.nilsnsw.org.au or phone 1800 509 994.