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Bank staff roll up their sleeves to help out Kinglake locals

8 September 2009 |Media centre

A group of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank employees are in Kinglake this week to assist the community as it rebuilds and recovers after the Black Saturday bushfires which decimated the region in February this year.

The participating bank staff are on annual leave and volunteering to help out in their own time.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Victorian State Manager, Scott Elkington, said this is an indication of how committed the bank is to helping out bushfire affected people.

“The events of the 2009 Victorian bushfires left a lasting impression,” Mr Elkington said.

“Many Victorians faced the full front of the fires, losing property, treasured possessions and even their lives.

“We have heard many heartbreaking stories though our branch network and we feel this is another way we can make a significant contribution,” he said.

While in Kinglake, bank staff will clear housing blocks and level them in preparation for building. They will also stay at local accommodation, in a show of support for the region’s economy.

“It’s great to be able to roll up our sleeves to ensure people can start re-building their homes,” Mr Elkington said.

Hurstbridge & Districts and Diamond Creek Community Bank® Chairman, Barry Henwood, said staff will also visit the newly established Kinglake Sub Branch.

“In the wake of the fires we felt compelled to provide support services for bushfire affected locals and return banking services to Kinglake.

“In the days following the fires, our community, through the Hurstbridge & Districts and Diamond Creek Community Bank® branches, donated almost $200, 000 to help bushfire victims.

“And in May, a further $80,000 was invested to open an Information Centre and sub-branch in Kinglake.

“We now want to convert that sub branch into a fully fledged Community Bank® branch, providing the Kinglake people with an alternative income stream supplied by the branch’s profits.

In addition to in-kind assistance, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank through it’s philanthropic arm Community Enterprise Foundation™ has accepted $8 million in donations for bushfire victims.

The funds have been administered by the foundation, which is working with the bank’s community partners to identify groups and programs in need of support in the rebuilding and recovery process.

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