Local organisations benefit from Community Bank initiative

Mount Evelyn's Community Bank have been busy handing out vouchers to local community groups for use at local cafes and eateries like Harry's Bakery. Pictured Taylah Dunn, Peter and Tracie Harrington and Melissa Guy. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 258438_03

By Mikayla van Loon

Many local and beloved community organisations have benefited from coffee vouchers thanks to the second round of a local initiative.

After a successful community outreach program last year, Mount Evelyn’s Community Bank has just finished handing out vouchers as part of the Coffees for Community for the second year.

Not-for-profits like Holy Fools were on the receiving end of the spirit lifting vouchers.

Community Bank director Lisa Glassborrow said after noticing how tough the extended lockdown had been on the local community last year, the board decided to help cheer people up.

“We decided to put aside some money and offer 500 $10 vouchers to give to community groups to give out to the people because we thought we can’t reach those in need but our community partners can,” she said.

“So all of the local churches and disability support services, and other community groups, schools we connected with and gave them a number of vouchers.”

Working with local shops, cafes and even supermarkets the Community Bank was able to support people in the local area by allowing them to purchase food or drink up to $10.

“We had some really beautiful feedback and so this year, again, we thought we’re coming out of this extended lockdown but we know that there’s just this real, I guess need for a bit of joy in people’s lives at the moment. We’ve all been doing it pretty tough and so we thought we’ll do it again.

“When we reached out to both the community groups and the businesses, they all jumped on board and said, ‘yep, we’d love to do it again, we’d love to be part of it’.”

Having just handed out the vouchers to places like Discovery Church in Mount Evelyn, schools, the Men’s Shed and the Mount Evelyn RSL, people can get a coffee with a friend until 10 December.

“It’s not extravagant but it’s something small with a reach of 500 people each time and so we’re hoping that that’s 500 people we bought a little bit of joy to,” Ms Glassborrow said.

“So people who have received a voucher can go to one of the participating stores and have a cuppa, you might even get two cuppas for a friend and just enjoy reconnecting back into the community basically.”

Hitting a milestone of 20 years in the Mount Evelyn and Montrose area, the Community Bank has been able to support a number of initiatives, this just being one of them and has provided $3.2 million back to the community over that time.

“We are really proud of the value that we bring to the community. We’re grateful for our customers that trust us with their banking, but they are part of a community bank because they understand that their connection and business helps support the rest of the community that we all live in.”