A BATHURST charity says the type of person seeking its help has changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hope Care Bathurst operations and welfare services manager Elliot Redwin said people on Newstart usually made up around 30 per cent of his clientele.
"The demographic has changed," he said. "It's shifted from people on Newstart and is now a lot of aged pensioners.
"I think the recession was on the cards before COVID; I think COVID just accelerated that."
Mr Redwin said while government support was helping many people in the desired way, some were missing out.
Lifeline Central West executive officer Stephanie Robinson said calls to the charity's crisis number have soared.
She said people are reporting a sense of grief as they struggle with job loss or uncertainty, reduced earnings, isolation amid lockdowns, and a fear of catching COVID-19.
"They've lost a sense of security and their whole world view has changed," she said.
"When we're impacted by things out of our control, that has a big impact."
Ms Robinson said thousands of people are calling Lifeline to talk, but "one of our concerns is that the people who are really struggling aren't coming forward".
"We're having people call us for the first time, which is a good thing, but also things must be pretty bad for people to be calling," she said.
Nationally, the number of calls Lifeline is receiving has spiked from around 2200 to 2400 daily late last year to 3200 a day.
Further west, Salvation Army Orana Captain David Sutcliffe said he had also seen a real shift in who was accessing help.
"It was people who were on government support before, or people who were out of work or didn't have enough work," he said.
"It's more of a shift now to people who have lost their jobs or businesses that closed.
"A lot of people we're seeing have never accessed our services before or haven't accessed our services for a long time."