Rural Financial Counselling Service Victoria West’s (RFCS VicWest) spirits were not dampened as the team joined a wet and windy Elmore Field Days from Monday October 3 to Thursday October 5.
Members of the RFCS VicWest team took to the grounds in Elmore to talk with farmers and business owners about where they’re at and what support they may need now and into the future.
RFCS VicWest Executive Officer David Stafford said it was a brilliant event and continued to highlight the ways in which the service works directly with its community.
“’How am I going? What can I do’ is a question for many farmers in the region who we’ve recently assisted with flood recovery grants – so hitting the ground running this year at Elmore Field Days was another key milestone for our 2023,” he said.
“Elmore Field Days is a great opportunity for our team to learn about current issues affecting the farming and small business community as they happen.
“Our counsellors are passionate about their work because they live in the region, many from farming backgrounds themselves. When they visit a client at their farm, the connection is real – there’s a sincerity about helping one of their own.
“With counsellors that come to a client’s home, farm or business, and short waiting lists, our service maintains a positive and trusted reputation within rural and regional communities. We thank the Elmore Field Days committee for again welcoming us to their event.”
RFCS has been working with farmers since 1986, and as a not-for-profit business offers free and confidential support for them and small business owners across Western Victoria. The service also includes wellbeing support for clients and their families.
Storm events, droughts, floods, and bushfire are common reasons for calling the RFCS for help, but less obvious is the assistance we can provide for farmers and small business owners facing climbing interest rates and rising costs.
Aside from clarifying your financial position, our counsellors can negotiate with lenders or creditors on your behalf. They can assist with a refinancing strategy, debt mediation, and exit or succession planning if you’re ready to retire and hand over the farm or business to one or more of your children.
Supporting Farmers & Small Businesses throughout their Flood Recovery Journey.
The government recently announced support measures for flood impacted business. The extent of the damage across the state means many communities are eligible for support. The flood grants are available now, with some grants continuing to be available for the next six months.
Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Victoria West’s rural and small business financial counsellors and wellbeing counsellors are on the ground working alongside farmers and small business owners impacted by the damaging and unpredictable nature of the floods.
“We appreciate that it can be difficult during times of crisis to know when or how to reach out for help, or even if you qualify. First and foremost, I encourage people to avoid self-assessing their eligibility as you may miss out on valuable assistance – there are many communities impacted by floods right across Victoria. Our financial counsellors are available to have the conversation no matter the level of impact. We’re here to help farmers and small business owners understand their entitlements, access grants and funding as well as link them and their family in with additional supports to ease their recovery journey,” says Mr. David Stafford, RFCS Victoria West Executive Officer.
During times of crisis, it’s common for mental health and wellbeing issues to also become a concern. Feelings of stress, anxiety and loss can all make the rebuilding journey that much more difficult. At RFCS Victoria West, we have a team of qualified wellbeing counsellors available to ensure anyone eligible or currently working with a financial counsellor is fully supported.
Our counsellors live and work in and around the communities in which we service making them highly accessible, locally relevant, and available for long-term engagement. The service is free, confidential and we can come to you; in your home, on your farm, in your small business, wherever you feel most comfortable.
Reach out when you’re ready, on 1300 735 578
For additional information see the Official Government Media Release.