THE Red Shield Appeal in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland region is well underway.

In its 56th year, the Salvos’ flagship fundraising appeal raises funds to support social and community services. The funds raised locally will stay local and be used to support the communities in this region.

“As we emerge from lockdown, we are finding more people than ever are needing support,” Captain Amanda Hart, who heads up the work at Leongatha, said.

“We are learning of some of the hardships that have occurred in the past 12 months and responding to continually escalating demand in our community.”

While COVID may have impacted the needs in the community, the Salvos have been working in the region for several years, helping to address issues and needs within the community.

The Salvos Social Mission, based in Leongatha, provides specialised social work services to the community, including housing and homelessness, family violence and youth services. Red Shield funds are vital to ensure these services and other new initiatives that will help serve the community could continue, organisers said.

“The communities in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland region have always faithfully backed the Salvos,” Captain Amy Jones, the Army’s leader at Wonthaggi, said.

“This year more than ever, we need the support of the local community, either by volunteering or donating, to help raise funds, ensuring we can continue our work in the community.”

As in previous years, you’ll see Salvo volunteer collectors in the community throughout May.

However, due to the changing times, they’re also having to do things a little differently, such as adopting an online donation model which allows people to donate directly or even create their own fundraising page, which they can share with friends, family and colleagues.

Leongatha Salvos are using the online platform to register for a fundraising walk along the Great Southern Rail Trail.

To donate or sign up, visit digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au/t/leongatha-salvos or digitaldoorknock.salvationarmy.org.au/t/wonthaggi-salvos.