Annual Report 2021

A smiling photo of a Benevolent staff member.

Client first

Peoples' needs drive every decision we make 

As an integrated service provider, we continued to deliver the full breadth of our knowledge and skills to meet the needs of thousands of people during the year.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our dedicated teams maintained their focus on always delivering an excellent client experience. We're proud to report that we received an 85% satisfaction rate of service delivery across all our programs and services and a 93% rating from clients expressing that we had a good understanding of their needs. The expertise of our teams and deep understanding of our clients enables us to consistently make informed decisions about the best ways to support clients to reach their goals.

This wisdom also informed the development of our new three-year strategy that ensures that all aspects of what we do are consistently contributing to our mission of a just society, where all Australians can live their best life.

As part of this strategy, we rolled out a new tagline for The Benevolent Society: "Your life. Your way." which encapsulates and emphasises how we support clients to live life on their own terms.

Ariella, a Benevolent Society child client, holding a paper aeroplane and wearing a blue bucket hat smlling.

Advocacy 

Advocating for systems change

We have expanded our pioneering legacy in this space to focus on collaboration with other leaders in the charitable sector to mobilise social movements and advocate for anyone in need and create social change for all Australians.

EveryAGE Counts aims to tackle ageism against older Australians. The campaign has continued to grow and strengthen with over 9000 people supporting the movement for a world without ageism. This growth was the result of key events and webinars to generate awareness of ageism and its impacts, releasing new resources, policies and research. The campaign also contributed to the World Health Organisation's first Global Report on Ageism and was recognised as a promising evidence-based campaign to end ageism.

The EveryChild initiative has been working to elevate the wellbeing of children and young people as a nation-building priority and has undergone a change in 2021 from a grassroots campaign to a systems leadership national project by bringing in leaders from across the NGO field and government to shift the dial for children and young people. In collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), the Systems Leadership for Child and Youth Wellbeing project was launched which aims to facilitate better integrated support to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. Working with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) a communications tool, It Takes 6, was developed to promote the primary domains of wellbeing that children and young people require.

A Benevolent staff member standing next to a client\

Core focus

Keeping our clients' needs in focus

Throughout the year our people-first practitioners continued to make a very real, meaningful difference in the lives of Australians across the country. This means we constantly re-revaluate our services to ensure we best meet our clients' needs and support them to live life on their own terms.

This focus became a strong priority during the instability, isolation and stress the COVID-19 pandemic continued to cause for people and communities this year. More than ever, our teams needed to help clients feel secure that the services they were receiving would help them meet their or their loved one's goals. Providing some certainty in these uncertain times was vital to the wellbeing of many of our clients.

One of our clients in New South Wales, Darren, was born blind and over three months premature. He was later diagnosed with Autism. Throughout this year, we have supported Darren through our Behaviour Support services and a holistic, integrated approach to help him meet his needs which has resulted in very positive outcomes. Darren's ability to express himself has improved remarkably, with future plans in place to further develop his independent living skills.

Darren's story illustrates the kind of integrated support that The Benevolent Society has delivered to thousands of people and families this year. Whether it's children, families, people with disability, older Australians or carers, we have continued to listen and act on the voice of our clients to empower them to live the life that they choose.

 
A smiling photo of Branka from our Support Centre. She is wearing a green shirt.

Flexibility

Service without barriers

The Benevolent Society took significant steps to innovate service options to make them more accessible and readily available to support individual and family needs. The new Specialist Travel and Teleheath (STAT) service was launched this year, allowing us to reach even more people living with a disability to reach their goals and achieve desired outcomes.

Our Allied Health professionals were able to provide support via phone or online which circumvented limitations caused by COVID-19 lockdowns or not having specialists physically situated in a specific location. The STAT team were committed to ensuring clients received quality, evidence-based services that work via telehealth whilst also ensuring their privacy and personal information were protected. The flexibility afforded by telehealth contributed greatly to the wellbeing of our clients.

Due to a shortage of therapists across rural and remote communities, we introduced fly-in-fly-out or drive-in-drive-out service delivery. This allowed us to expand our service areas beyond the postcodes where we have an office. Understanding the importance of consistency to our clients, we ensured they always saw the same therapist. 

The flexibility of our newly launched STAT service has allowed us to further expand the reach of The Benevolent Society, granting us even more opportunities to support and assist those in need to live their life, their way.