About UnitingCare Bendigo
UnitingCare Bendigo is an agency of UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania, which is the Victorian community services arm of the Uniting Church in Australia. Across Australia, UnitingCare is one of the largest providers of community services with over 1,600 sites, 39,000 employees and 27,000 volunteers, supporting more than 2 million people every year.
UnitingCare Bendigo supports some of the most vulnerable members across the local, greater and rural Bendigo communities,. The main focus of UnitingCare Bendigo is to provide emergency relief for local individuals and families, providing support and access to resources that are critical for sound health, wellbeing and participation in local communities. UnitingCare Bendigo also operates three Op Shops and a Print Shop across the community.
All services are provided to all people irrespective of age, race, religion, language, ability, gender or sexual orientation. View our Mission Statement
UnitingCare Bendigo services the local and greater Bendigo area, situated in the centre of Victoria, roughly 150km North West of Melbourne and covering almost 3,000 square kilometres. With a growing population of more than 110,000 people Bendigo is the state’s third largest economic base.
According to the Poverty Report of 2016, in 2014, the 50% of median income poverty line for a single adult was $426.30 a week. For a couple with children it was $895.22 a week. This meant that in 2014, 13.3% of the population – 2.99 million Australians – were living below the poverty line. UnitingCare Bendigo supports around 11,000 people a year, which is broadly equivalent to the number of people we would expect to be living in poverty in Bendigo.
With the establishment of the Uniting Church in 1977, the Bendigo Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches combined and their members formed the basis of UnitingCare Bendigo. The minister at that time, Rev. Lindsay Faulkner, encouraged the congregations to realise their vision of reaching out to the local community by providing emergency relief to people in need. In June 1994, the agency was formally established and the operations were maintained entirely by a team of about 20 volunteers, with a core focus on emergency relief, which continues to this day. In the first operating month, we assisted 94 callers. Three years later by 1997, the number of callers averaged 353 per month and today we currently assist around 900 callers each and every month.
Bendigo Uniting Care Outreach changed its name to UnitingCare Bendigo in 2013.
Soon we will be unified with twenty UnitingCare agencies across Victoria and Tasmania. Learn more about how we will be Uniting.