John Holland extends support to Western Sydney families

 

Photo by Tom Hill on Unsplash.

John Holland is supporting mental health and services for families in Western Sydney who are doing it tough during the latest Sydney lockdown.

John Holland Chief Executive Joe Barr said the company will donate $50,000 to Lifeline and a further $50,000 to Western Sydney Community Forum to provide urgent mental health support and access to laptops and computers for isolated families.

“Western Sydney powers our nation, and the people of Western Sydney are integral to how we deliver the city-shaping infrastructure that is so vital to getting our economy back on track.

More than 700 of our Sydney employees and 1,700 subcontractors are based in Western Sydney, and we recognise that this has been an incredibly hard time for them and their community,” Mr Barr said.

“At a time when Lifeline is experiencing a record number of calls, it is important to me that we help them continue the critical support they provide to people who are suffering. Construction has a higher rate of suicide than any other industry, so the importance of Lifeline’s work is close to my heart.”

Lifeline Australia Chair John Brogden said the donation from John Holland couldn’t have come at a more important time.

“[It is] helping us support more Australians than ever through the loneliness and anxiety of lockdowns in NSW and across the country. This will save lives,” Mr Brogden said.

“The support of corporate leaders like John Holland is keeping our volunteers there for those in Western Sydney and around the country who have been pushed into crisis, our volunteers are working harder than ever to support people any time they need it.”

Western Sydney Community Forum, the region’s social development council, will use the donation to provide much-needed technological equipment to community groups and needy families and to increase local and targeted community mental health services.

The donation will be used to fund five local organisations delivering on-the-ground mental health support services such as counselling, outreach and emergency support, as well as 50 devices for local community groups to increase service reach and distribute to families in need.

Western Sydney Community Forum CEO Billie Sankovic welcomed the contributions.

“As a major regional partner and employer in Western Sydney, John Holland is key to our social fabric and we deeply welcome this important contribution towards community health and wellbeing at this important time,” he said.

“This generous donation to locally-based and trusted community organisations at the frontline and at the grassroots will boost services to safeguard mental health and provide digital access. This will ensure that local people get the support they need when they need it.”

The Western Sydney area has been worst affected by New South Wales’ latest surge in COVID Delta variant virus infections. The most disadvantaged local government areas in greater Sydney have had almost twice as many COVID cases as the rest of the city during the current outbreak, according to a Guardian Australia analysis.

These areas not only contain large numbers of essential workers, an analysis of census data also shows a large number of workers in jobs that involve a lot of contact with other people, such as nursing, retail and childcare.


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