Over 45 years of connection with the Rockdale local community
27 areas of needRockdale Municipal Council completes a survey on ‘Living Conditions of the Aged’ within its boundaries. Results show 27 areas of need, some of which are subsequently addressed by the formation of services such as Rockdale Community Mobile Nursing Service, Meals on Wheels and Senior Citizens Centres. At the Annual General Meeting of the Rockdale Christian Ecumenical Association, a gathering of members from local churches, a proposal is put forward by Mr L. Crane for the formation of an Aid Service, in order to fulfil the remaining needs of residents within the municipality. Members were enthusiastic to give practical help to their ‘Neighbour’.
An overwhelming volunteer responseAt a public meeting on 8th October called by Council, a steering committee is formed. Rockdale Christian Ecumenical Association continues its encouragement and support. A call for volunteers goes out and the response is overwhelming. A constitution is drawn up and guidelines set out.
Social workers commence trainingAmong those putting their up hand to assist the new Aid Service are two social workers who in February commence training of other volunteers.
Rockdale Community Aid Service opensOn 1st April the Rockdale Community Aid Service, with Council assistance, commences in the Baby Health Centre premises at 27 Bryant Street, Rockdale, providing aid to the needy in the community. Not merely a referral service, its volunteer staff carry out other jobs that do not fit into the work of established organisations, such as shopping, home aid, visits to the lonely, driving and general assistance. The service progressively grows and is soon designated by the state government as a Neighbourhood Centre. It expands its services to include projects such as entertainment for the housebound; services for people with disabilities; people living in isolation; and a project involving young mothers and children (supported by volunteers for child minding), which is held fortnightly. Services also include advice and counselling. Rockdale Community Aid Service maintains continual liaison with the Home Care Service, Rockdale Community Health Centre, Rockdale Community Nursing, Meals on Wheels, St Vincent De Paul Centre, Social Security, St George Migrant Resource Centre, Baby Health Centre and St George Planning Committee for the Aged and Disabled. Many of these have representation on the Rockdale Community Aid Service Committee.
The Service incorporatesOn 12th June, Rockdale Community Aid Services is incorporated under the name of Rockdale Community Aid & Information Service. Its initial objectives read: The principal object is to assist, wherever possible, the relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, helplessness, and the alleviation of loneliness particularly amongst elderly people irrespective of creed, class or colour.
RCS gets its current nameOn 20th October the name ‘Rockdale Community Aid & Information Service’ is changed to ‘Rockdale Community Services Incorporated’. The reviewed objectives read: RCSI has as its principal aim the provision of services and information to the people of the Rockdale Municipality and surrounding areas. To achieve this aim it has set the following objectives:
- To assist whenever and wherever possible, in the alleviation of the effects of disadvantage in our community.
- To remain abreast of local issues and community needs and assist in the development and provision of services to meet the identified needs of the community.
- To promote the principals of self-help and community participation in addressing these needs.
- To co-opt persons in the community, to assist the Service to achieve its objectives.
Recognised as a valuable contributorOn 31st October our Rockdale Neighbour Aid Program is officially recognised by Rockdale City Council for its 'valuable contribution to the Rockdale City community' in the City of Rockdale Civic Church Service.
Steady progressRCS is running four main programs: St George Easy Care Gardening; National Respite Carers Program; Neighbour Aid Services; and the Neighbourhood Centre. There are approximately 20 employed staff and over 50 volunteers.
Strategic planRCS supports over 15 community groups, including a disability social support group, held twice a month on Saturdays. The organisation owns two vehicles for ECG and one bus (23 seater) for services support. A new three-year strategic plan (2007–2010) focuses on aged care, disability care, mental health, community development and the environment.
RCS marks 40 yearsRCS celebrates its 40-year anniversary with a cruise for management and staff and special activities for volunteers. The Bexley office returns to Rockdale, which gets a new phone number. A grant is received from the Australian Council for the Arts to run the South Pacific Arts Projects.
Indigenous Employment Program yields resultsThe Indigenous Employment Program, which commenced in 2008, is completed with 3 young Aboriginal men obtaining their Certificate III in Horticulture. 8 Aboriginal men are provided with mentoring support and opportunities to obtain Forklift, Skid Steer Loader and Excavation licences. All young men are assisted to develop resumes and portfolios and obtain external employment.
Approved ProviderOur submission for Approved Provider status is approved.
We offer Community Aged Care PackagesRockdale Community Services Inc follows up our Approved Provider status with the addition of Community Aged Care Packages to our services portfolio.
Business Excellence Award
In the Rockdale City Council Business Excellence Awards, we are recognised for Outstanding Service to the Community.
Gardening team nominated for volunteer awardThe St George Easy Care Gardening Team is nominated for this year's NSW Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is run by the Centre for Volunteering to celebrate the millions of volunteers in NSW. It showcases the teams who have shown dedication and initiative, making a positive contribution to their particular not-for-profit sector.
We move to a personal care planning modelRockdale Community Services merges separate service programs into an individual support and goal-oriented personal care planning model. The transition funding from the Commonwealth Government allows us to purchase TRACCS, a data system to assist with the care notes, review, staff and volunteer roster, and administration.
43 years of ‘outstanding service’
NSW Neighbour Aid & Social Support Association Inc. (NSW~NASSA) awards RCS in recognition of our 43 years of ‘Outstanding Service to the Community’.
New organisational structure and strategic planRCS creates a new organisational structure centred around the client, providing individual support and a goal-oriented personal care planning model. Included in our Strategic Plan 2014–2018 is a marketing strategy includes logo, uniforms, website, Facebook page and advertising in key locations within the local area.
45 years of progressRCS now supports 1,030 clients across a complexity of services and government-supported funding. All staff have recognised qualifications and attend regular training; 90 per cent of our staff and volunteers are bi-lingual. We also have contractors, brokerage and private services.
New online presenceRCS embraces the digital age with a newly written MyAgedCare corporate biography. In November we also launch our completely rewritten, device-responsive, phone-friendly website featuring photographs of some of our wonderful real-life clients with RCS staff.