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School Savvy returns in 2021 to help local families

School Savvy returns
Maija Stewart from Centacare at the School Savvy program held in January 2020.

The successful School Savvy program will return in 2021 to help Bundaberg Region families with back-to-school resources.

The initiative has been helping Queensland students to access low-cost uniforms and quality stationery items for the past four years.

With the pandemic forcing widespread job losses and economic unease, School Savvy will be needed in 2021 more than ever.

School Savvy CQ project manager Anna Morris said that while preparations for the annual event had been delayed due to the pandemic, the CentacareCQ team were determined to make sure it still went ahead one way or another.

“Normally we would have started to plan our next School Savvy event in May or June, but with COVID at its peak during that time, everything was up in the air,” Anna said.

“We were determined that even if we had to completely change the way School Savvy was run, we would still make sure that we were available in some way to help people when they needed us most.

“It was really just a case of us having to wait and see how the situation developed before we could really start to make some concrete plans.”

While regional Queensland has experienced an economic slowdown rather than shutdown from COVID-19, a report published by Professor John Rolfe from the Rural Economics Centre of Excellence said that the economic disruption of the pandemic had some concerning trends for regional areas.

School Savvy ready to help

The report said that across Central Queensland and Wide Bay alone, up to 12 per cent of the workforce was expected to experience a reduction in employment, while up to 8 per cent of standard incomes were expected to be reduced.

“With the amount of job losses, or loss of income that people have endured throughout the year, we knew that we had to make sure School Savvy was ready to help get kids from families who were struggling financially, back to school with the right resources,” Anna said.

“We talked about lots of different options for what we could do if heavy event restrictions were still in place, but ultimately our first preference was always to hold our School Savvy events as closely to the original format as possible.

“While our pop-up shops will look a little different this January with COVID-safe practices in place, we are quietly optimistic that Queensland will continue to manage the situation in a way that allows School Savvy to go ahead as attendees have come to expect.”

School Savvy returns and will be holding pop-up shops in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Gracemere and Mount Morgan in January 2021.

To stay up to date with the latest School Savvy information click here.

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