MORE than half the families who sought assistance from Holroyd Community Aid in November couldn't pay their electricity bill.
Such was the demand the centre ran out of Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme vouchers — something that rarely happens.
"Easter will be another busy time," the centre's joint co-ordinator of welfare, Joanne Griffin, predicted.
"A lot of them [in November] were overdue payments."
Holroyd Community Aid administers emergency relief to people in crisis in the Holroyd local government area. It also offers referral and advocacy.
"We can provide food vouchers, help with certain [chemist] prescriptions and utilities [gas, electricity and telephone], as well as clothing and nappies [through its OpShop]," Ms Griffin said.
The centre at 17A Miller Street, Merrylands, assisted 89 families in November, the same number as 2012, but of those, 49 required EAPA vouchers.
"December was also quite busy," Ms Griffin said.
The service — which has 40 volunteers — did three "specials" in November, Ms Griffin said with reference to assistance that falls outside the above categories.
"That was a little more than usual; there are some months where there are none," she said.
"Even though it has been busy, we're managing."
Organisations participating in the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance Scheme:
Organisations participating in the scheme include:
■ BHHP Migrant Resource Centre, Parramatta, 9687 9901;
■ Granville Multicultural Community Centre, 9637 7600;
■ Salvation Army Granville/Parramatta, 9891 4526;
■ SVDP Cumberland Regional Council (covers Granville, Harris Park, Merrylands, Westmead, Parramatta), 1800 606 724;
■ SVDP Prospect Regional Council (Greystanes, Toongabbie, Wentworthville), 1800 606 724;
■ SVDP The Hills Regional Council (Baulkham Hills and North Parramatta), 1800 606 724;
■ Telopea Family Support Resources, 9638 7955; and
■ The Hills Community Aid & Information Service Inc, Baulkham Hills, 9686 2738.
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