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Staff, volunteers, partners and other supporters of the Cockatoo and Hills No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) gathered on Wednesday 15 November at the Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre in Cockatoo to celebrate the magnificent milestone of distributing 1000 interest-free loans in the local community.
From small beginnings in 2009, when five loans were approved in the first year, the program has gone from strength to strength, now working with 10 client support programs throughout the southern metropolitan region and approving close to 50 loans per month.
“Our program gives many clients the opportunity to feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction, knowing that their loan has been repaid in 12 months and they now fully own goods such as a refrigerator or washing machine or they have been able to cover the cost of undertaking a training course that has led to employment,” manager Sue Barbieri said.
“One family who have been involved with us recently first made contact when they needed help to get a car on the road.
“‘John’ had two rental contracts out on furniture that he was purchasing and it was borderline whether he would qualify for a NILS loan.
“The assessment committee decided to approve his loan and his car was repaired and registered.
“John paid off his loan without missing one payment and sent me a text saying how proud he was to have accomplished this.
“He also told me how grateful he was that someone had trusted him and how much this meant to him.”
A specially decorated cake with the NILS logo was cut by Ms Barbieri and Cr Leticia Wilmot to conclude the celebration.
The Cockatoo and Hills NILS program is supported by Echo Youth and Family Services.
To inquire about a loan, contact Ms Barbieri on 0427 895 596.

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