CHRISTMAS 2020 is shaping up to be uncharted territory for charities across the city, with demand expected to be at an all time high.
Lt Kate Cathcart from the Salvation Army said due to the effects of COVID-19, they are approaching the Christmas period with caution.
She said despite the upheaval, thanks to Job Keeper and Job Seeker, demand on services while consistent, so far have been manageable.
"Still, having said that, we've seen some individuals experiencing hardship for the very first time, they were paid the Job Keeper, but it's less than their normal income.
"It has really affected their ability make ends meet."
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She said there is a percentage of the community out there who have never had to ask for help before, but need support now.
"We encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out.
"They might not be sure what to do, or even where to go."
On the other hand, she said other people received Job Seeker, which was a slightly better income for them.
"But that's all about to drop right before Christmas," she said.
Lt Cathcart said she thought demand on their services "is going to get more intense."
"A lot of people (on Job Seeker) have used the extra funds, committed to new things, now they have pull back.
"We are expecting demand to increase now (government) payments are being wound back."
With this in mind, she said the Salvation Army are already appealing for community support in the lead up to Christmas and are calling for the donation of new toys, gift vouchers and cash donations.
"We can only take new toys," she said.
"If possible we encourage those thinking of donating to give gift vouchers, it simplifies things with COVID-19.
She said in Bathurst last year the Salvation Army had a shop as such and clients could chose an item for their children, which saw over 200 children receive a gift.
"With a gift voucher we can ensure the child gets what they want, so it resolves a lot of issues in that sense.
"It also ensures equality between families."
Said people needing support can connect with them through Salvo Connect.
"Drop in, it's next to our Keppel Street Family Store, we're open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10-1. We're also looking for volunteers who have working with children clearance to assist during the busy Christmas time."
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