This community organisation started with the vision of Jenny Elvey, an emergency relief worker who had a dream of an agency which could provide a holistic program with a long term approach in order to empower people to develop financial literacy and independence. One night in 2006, over a dining room table, two other like minded people, also Emergency Relief Workers put in a few dollars each to register the agency.
Then followed three years of weekend sausage sizzles throughout Bendigo, to raise funds, in order to rent premises in St Andrew's Avenue, Bendigo while running the agency wholly on volunteer labour.
After two years the organisation finally received federal funding for financial counselling and emergency relief. From there BFFS has fought to secure funding for each service and support it offers to the community. For example in 2007, the organisation battled to receive funding to run a No interest Loans Scheme in Bendigo as there was no one servicing this scheme in the area.
Five years later, BFFS was awarded for being the Victorian agency administering the most Good Shepherd NILS No Interest Loans, an award that had been repeated for the last three years.
Bendigo Family and Financial Services Inc. core mission is to help break the cycles of material aid and generational poverty in Bendigo. We aim to build financial literacy and resilience among those most at risk of financial exclusion and disadvantage. We provide all our services in a manner that encourages and supports each client towards better life choices, the daily management of their income and self empowerment.
We provide all our services in a manner that encourages and supports each client towards better life choices, the daily management of their income and self empowerment. We believe that by offering one on one financial and educational counselling clients are supported to understand their spending patterns.
By providing clear and impartial information on how to best manage their finances, with appropriate financial products available, we will be able to build financial resilience and well- being. Having these support systems in place whilst people tackle their financial issues significantly enhance the likelihood of people succeeding in achieving their goals.
Education and information sessions on issues relevant to them, generalist and financial counselling and access to financial products such as the No Interest Loan Scheme also make up the program.