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Rallying call for support

Posted: 12pm 30 Sep 2020

Demand for veteran welfare services has spiked as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown and restrictions, so Redcliffe RSL is calling on the community to help it provide much-needed assistance.

The Sub Branch has two paid advocates, two volunteer advocates and five volunteer welfare officers, at a cost of about $300,000 per year.

It receives a small amount of support from various grants, but relies on income from its club at Irene St. That income was cut during the 17 weeks the club was forced to close due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Demand surges

Redcliffe RSL president Neville Cullen said the Sub Branch had fully-trained and accredited ATDP Advocates who had been performing above expectations.

“There is a very high demand from our veterans and recently a lot who are having difficulty coping with the COVID-19 situation,” Mr Cullen said.

“We provide a mentor program to advocates from other areas and assist clients from Katherine and Darwin, where there are no local qualified advocates. They also assist clients from other areas within Queensland and also nationally.

“The community can support our veterans by continuing to support the Redcliffe RSL Club which is our major source of income for veteran support.”

Challenging times

Redcliffe RSL general manager Peter Forsey said the shutdown had been the biggest challenge the club had faced.

“Our team and members have been amazing and have been the driving force to help adapt and rebuild. We are grateful to be open and trading and are taking a pragmatic approach to ensure financial sustainability,” Mr Forsey said.

Expansion plans are on hold until financial conditions stabilise, and COVID-19 restrictions have forced the Sub Branch to cancel Remembrance Day commemorations this year.

“As devastating as this pandemic has been, we are truly thankful and grateful for the community we live in,” Mr Forsey said.

“The road out is long and tough, but for us to rebuild like other businesses it is imperative for locals to support businesses like ours. Without our club, the indirect effects on the community would be devastating.”

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