The generous spirit of South West people has allowed a vital service to keep up with a skyrocketing demand from those who are finding it harder to manage increased living costs.
Rising costs, particularly electricity prices, contributed to a 30 per cent jump in the demand forthe Intown Centre’s services in the last financial year.
Intown Centre chairman David Bailey expects increases to continue at the same pace due to rising utility costs.
‘‘We’re dependent on what the State Government does to a large degree,’’ he said.
‘‘One of the things that’s driven a lot of people we don’t usually see towards us, is charges and costs.
‘‘Most people we see are on the margin and something like a massively increased cost will tip them over and that’s when they start coming to us.’’
The In Town Centre receives funding from the government for its paid employees but depends on the contribution of the community and the corporate sector to supply those in need with basic supplies including food and clothing.
Mr Bailey said it was the support from the community that had allowed the centre to keep its doors open.
‘‘If you can judge a place by its spirit of generosity then Bunbury and the South West are right up there,’’ he said.The Intown Centre — which is the only centre of its kind in regional WA — has a number of projects coming up in the next few months and existing programs which require donations, including a Christmas appeal and the Back to School Project to assist 100 children with basic stationery