Salvos appeal to dig deep

Helping out: Salvation Army Illawarra appeals co-ordinator Karen Walker will be one of hundreds of helpers collecting during this weekend's Red Shield Appeal Doorknock. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Helping out: Salvation Army Illawarra appeals co-ordinator Karen Walker will be one of hundreds of helpers collecting during this weekend's Red Shield Appeal Doorknock. Picture: ROBERT PEET

About 400 Illawarra volunteers will pound the pavements for the Salvation Army's annual Red Shield Appeal Doorknock this weekend.

Illawarra appeals co-ordinator Karen Walker urged the community to dig deep this year, with an expected increase in need due to measures announced in the federal budget.

Ms Walker said proposed welfare changes, combined with hits to health and education, would hurt those on middle to lower incomes.

"In recent years we've already been noticing a shift in the type of people needing assistance - people who have been fairly comfortable previously are now finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet," she said.

"I think people will be further impacted if they have to pay more to see the doctor or get medicine, more for an education, more for petrol.

"So I think it's critical that we raise as much as we can in this year's doorknock due to the sheer scale of need we are expecting to see."

The national goal is $10 million for this year's campaign, part of the organisation's Red Shield Appeal which aims to raise $80 million across Australia.

In the Illawarra the funds go towards helping people with immediate needs, such as food assistance, as well as working with people through counselling and rehabilitation services.

"In this region our community welfare centres in Wollongong and Warilla help people with basic needs like food vouchers and rental assistance," Ms Walker said.

"Our First Floor program also offers a wide range of support groups for people with family members with addictions as well as parenting and bereavement groups. We also run a women's refuge."

If unable to contribute to the doorknock, you can still donate to the Red Shield Appeal on 137 258 or online at salvos.org.au.

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