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Bayside Community Information and Support Services (BayCISS) 

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I have been volunteering at BayCISS (a not-for-profit charity) for over 3 years supporting vulnerable community members living in Kingston and Bayside in times of need or crisis. BayCISS is dependent on volunteers and donations to provide information, referrals, support, advocacy for community members. 

I am very passionate about volunteering at BayCISS as we provide a safe, non-judgemental, impartial and supportive environment for people to come for assistance.  Forms of assistance available include emergency relief such as food parcels, food vouchers, fuel vouchers, travel passes, pharmacy vouchers, toiletries and even pet food. We also provide bills and budget assistance, legal advice, tax help, family counselling, occasional childcare and neighbourhood house programs, casework, NILS applications, education support program and information and advocacy. 

Being part of an amazing team of friendly volunteers I get to meet and support vulnerable members of our community (once a week). I essentially run the Utility Relief Assistance Program and if I am unable to assist, can provide referrals to other services or advocacy or information on behalf of the client. I enjoy going that extra mile to assist vulnerable people especially those at their worse and getting a thank you makes it all worthwhile. You must be a good listener, “thick skinned” and don’t take it personally when someone is either agitated or aggressive. My motto is “there is always a solution in life”. 

BayCISS was recently featured on The Block (Channel 9 TV series) as part of the makeover charity challenge during the contestant’s kitchen week. It was nice to have a couple of our interview rooms, kitchen, more added storage (inside and out) and outdoor garden having a complete makeover in a week. https://9now.nine.com.au/the-block/videos/latest/the-blockheads-charity-renovation-challenge-revealed/clmqy15c6003e0koa20u92tfy 

On 15 October The Block was Open for Inspection. Thousands of fans had queued for hours to get a view of the five renovated houses. In collaboration with other charities in the area BayCISS was rostered to be part of The Block Fundraising Sandbelt BBQ which was great fun and busy at the same time. The customers were very generous with a few coming back a second time for a sausage sizzle. We were told we were far better than Bunnings on the day. A big thank you to Sally, Haydn, Daniel, Jan, Janet and Kathy for giving up their day for a great cause. Here are a couple of photos with our sleeves rolled up. 

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At BayCISS we are always looking for dedicated volunteers so please visit our website: https://bayciss.org.au/ or call Bridgette, our Volunteer Coordinator on 9555 9910. 

To continue to provide programs that will support people who access our services we are also open to donations: https://www.givenow.com.au/BayCISS 

Thank you.  

Annette Clover  

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