Could you help local families struggling with heating costs this winter?

Could you help local families struggling with heating costs this winter?

Community Networks seeks donations from those receiving the Winter Energy Payment that may not need these funds.

Our local community challenge

We live in an expensive, stunning and chilly place. The team at Community Networks works alongside many families that are struggling financially. Typically these families are working hard to make ends meet, are above the threshold to receive support from Work & Income, however do not have the financial capacity to help with additional expenses such as firewood.

Here is how you could help…

The Winter Energy Payment is a national initiative in which all superannuants are paid a subsidy to help with the costs of heating their homes from the 1st May until the 1st October. If you could spare all or part of your subsidy your donation will help us support those families that are struggling with the cost of firewood and heating. Last week alone we had three families with young children contact us as they are unable to afford the cost of firewood.

This scheme will be carefully managed

Donations can be made into an account (the Community Support Fund) that is held specifically for supporting families. These funds will then be used to purchase firewood or help with the cost of a power bill, based on a referral from a social worker or a financial mentor. We manage a rigorous framework around the Community Support Fund to ensure the funds are always allocated for genuine need and support. Kate Murray the Manager of Community Networks will administer these funds and gather a database of how these donations have been used to the support local families.

At the end of the winter all donors will receive a letter detailing how these donations have helped keep local families warm over our winter months and therefore contributed to the social wellbeing of our community.


Community Networks is a local grassroots organisation run by a charitable trust (the Alpine Community Development Trust) and has been operating for 15 years. We are unique to the Upper Clutha region and we are not a government organisation. We are funded largely by local trusts, fundraisers and donations. Our purpose is to be a one stop resource hub for social well-being services. Families that are struggling financially can get support via the Community Foodbank (this year we are giving out an average of 23 food parcels a month), a social worker, financial mentors, subsidised GP visits and subsidised counselling.

Take action

If you are interested in donating your Winter Energy Payment please email Kate Murray for the bank account details – If you have any queries regarding this process please call the team at Community Networks on 443 7799.

We thank you very much for your support.

Article written by Margaret Betty.