About Bridging the Gaps
Bridging the Gaps is a material aid donation program that supports newly arrived and vulnerable refugees. . Many still have no right to work or face major barriers to employment and are forced to live in private rental homes on less than minimum wages.
Often they are on the equivalent of 89% or less of a Newstart allowance based on house composition. Their income is distributed by their case managers and the process for paying back bonds and loans is that they ‘borrow’ these amounts and pay them back from their payments. This essentially leaves refugees with very little money in their first few months in Australia. On average, a family of four can have around $30 a week to cover bills, transport and food after they pay rent.
This means that we have found many new refugees — men, women, children, pregnant women — sleeping on the floor in with not even a blanket, let alone a fridge or bed.
Case Managers do their best to gain donations for their clients. They can apply on an individual case for some basic funding for families with a child entering into the community for some home basics which is assessed by Immigration on a individual needs basis. We seek to fill the gaps that the case management system can not provide.
How we help
We collect donations, try to find storage in volunteers’ homes (always needed) and try to find volunteers to transport small and larger items into refugees’ homes (vans, trailors and utes are again always needed).
We have helped over 3000 homes by providing items including clothing, cutlery, toys, beds, couches, fridges and washing machines.
We have accepted and met many Challenges of Welcome:
- sorting and distributing a donation of 8,000 bulk-packed nappies
- distributing homewares from the set from INXS The Mini Series
- emptying student accommodation of leftover pillows, blankets, kettles, irons and toasters.
- over 800 homes with Christmas Cheer Hampers
- Winter Stitch challenge saw us share with agencies and homes over 20,000 hand knitted scarves, beanies and gloves
- Get Intimates: hundreds of pairs of new bras, undies and jocks
What you can do
To donate items and see what we’re looking for, or to volunteer in administration and coordination roles or delivery roles email us and check our Facebook page.
Sign up to volunteer in administration or deliveries today!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to like our Welcome Group Facebook page and our Twitter @TheWelcomeGroup to share our news, stories and challenges.