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Community Lending for Tasmanians

Member Agency News Edition 7: April 2014 in this edition HESS Subsidy Update StepUp Loans NILS Micro Business Loans Budget of the Month Facts and Figures

Hi Everyone When people start calling you Neil because you are the coordinator of Neil’s Network (NILS – get it!) you start to think you have probably been around a little bit too long. And it’s true, I have been around a while, but it’s equally true that I still love working here. We have a brilliant mob of dedicated and creative employees working hard to get as many loans out, as quickly as we can.

NILS Easter opening hours The NILS office will be closed on Friday 18th April and reopen on Tuesday 22nd April. During Tuesday 22nd and Thursday 24th April the office will be opened with limited staff but someone will be here to answer any questions you may have. The whole of the NILS team will be back to normal on Monday 28th April.

ish you all w S IL N t a We d safe n a l u f r e d n a wo ak! Easter bre NILS is proudly supported by

With your amazing support we will issue more than 2200 microfinance loans and 100 microbusiness loans by the end of the year. Because of you and 150 other wonderful volunteer loans officers across Tasmania we have grown by 300% in 4 years. We acknowledge too, the wonderful support that we have from state and federal governments and from our corporate partners – NAB, Aurora Energy and the Federal Group. They believe in us and are delighted with this unique partnership between government and the corporate and community sectors. It’s important to know that NILS is also supported by all the major political parties, so that, regardless of the colour of our new government, we can continue to help low income Tasmanians. In line with our strategic plan we have a number of projects in place which will help us reach our goal of 3500 loans by 2017. Most exciting is our work to develop greater online access to NILS for our clients and our member agencies. I hope this newsletter gives you some sense of how excited we are about our work and about how we plan to do it even better. Rick Tipping NILS Coordinator

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Community Lending for Tasmanians

National NILS Conference – Coming up The National NILS conference will be held on 12th and 13th of June in Brisbane. Lastyear over 30 people from Tassie attend the NILS conference in Melbourne. We have 16 subsidies available this year to support staff who has previously undertaken the NILS training and who regularly help with NILS applications. The subsidy is approx. $500 per person; this is to assist in covering the cost of attending. Email with an ‘expression of interest’ by 20th April if you are interested. We look forward to hearing from you!

StepUp Loans StepUP provides low interest loans to people on low incomes through community providers across many parts of Australia. StepUP is an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with National Australia Bank (NAB) StepUP loans are for individuals or families holding a current Centrelink Concession Card, Health Care Card or receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A. Individuals or families are also required to have lived at their current address for more than three months. Loan purposes for StepUP include > Vehicles including cars, motor scooters and motorised chairs > Furniture and whitegoods (more than one item can be purchased at a time) > Medical and dental expenses > House and car repairs > Airfares for refugee reunion (conditions apply) > Vocational education costs

NILS Micro Business Loans: Meet the Entrepreneurs True Trails: Community Healing on Horseback Cheri Allanby started True Trails with help from a NILS Micro Business Loan and the Business East Enterprise Centre. She opened for business in March 2013 following the massive bush fires at Dunalley. After developing the excellent program, “Riding for Recovery”, for youth who were directly or indirectly affected by these fires, True Trails Community Programs Association was set up as a not-for–profit organisation in order to run a range of social programs within the local and extended communities. Other programs now operating include: “SPEAK”: a program specifically for Autism diagnosed children and their family. “Give ‘em a Chance”: a program aiming to provide youth with vocational skills and a framework of opportunity. TTCPA Youth Camp: an overnight riding camp aimed to bring social cohesion to many of the Riding for Recovery program’s participants. All programs use qualified workers conducting natural horsemanship-based sessions and activities, where participants are presented with enjoyable challenges and opportunities leading to positive outcomes.

> Computers.

The next step for True Trails is seeking funding to expand and further develop the programs.

For more information contact StepUP Coordinator Jean Bannister 1300 301 650

For enquires please call Cheri on 03 62 535480 or 0437 181570 •

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Community Lending for Tasmanians

Website – Your Member Area

HESS Subsidy Update

If you haven’t already visited our website and registered to access your member area, please do! Visit go to the button of the home page and look for the log on button on the right hand side of the web page, complete the form and you will be given access. The member area is where you can access all the latest up to date forms and information.

Energy Subsidy about to close! If you want your clients to benefit from the generous Federal Government subsidies for energy efficient appliances, you need to make certain applications are with the NILS office no later than 15 June. The subsidy will no longer be available after 30 June. Subsidies include: > Fridge/Freezer up to $800 > Washer up to $600 > Dryer up to $150 > Heat pump up to $3300! Call NILS: 1300 301 650 for more information.

What’s New at NILS This year NILS received a grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund to update our client information pack and make it available to clients on the NILS Website. We are working with a reference group and graphic designer to make our packs more literacy friendly along with making the packs more accessible to clients. Watch this space as we will be providing you more information about all the exciting projects we will be working on this year!


> Loan stats...

Actual Actual Actual Forecast

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14

Number of enquiries 2357 3705 5981 6894 Approved loans

862 1489 1993 2200

Loan applications – not approved

1% 1% 1% 1%

NILS ‘Budget of the Month’ Award NILS is not just a loan for something essential. It is also an opportunity for our clients, WITH YOUR WONDERFUL SUPPORT, to develop the skills they need to manage on a low income. The most important part of our application process is the fortnightly Income and Expenditure budget. This may be the first time our applicant has ever looked at what is happening with their money. What we are looking for in an application is that the budget considers the client’s spending in a bit of detail. This means a budget which attempts to estimate fortnightly expenditure on things like children, clothes and entertainment as well as on the essential costs like electricity and rent. WE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE OUR WINNERS: > November Lynn Gouzounis – Anglicare Launceston > December Jill Finch – Anglicare Hobart

of Budget nth the Mo Award

> January Doreen Read – Warrane Mornington Community House > February Raema Arnold, Centacare Hobart Congratulations to our winners! Your prize is in the mail!

Questions or comments? E-mail us at

Nils enews apr14 v2 (2)