From left: Family Support Newcastle CEO Sue Hellier, Zebra Finch owner Kate McNally and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes at the launch of Lean In Newy. Picture: Supplied.
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LEAN IN NEWY: New app to support local not-for-profits and small business

A new app, aimed at harnessing the palpable community spirit of our region was launched by the City of Newcastle this week.

The app, Lean In Newy, aims to connect community organisations that need support getting through the COVID-19 pandemic, with people who want to lend a hand.

Best of all, the app also provides the added incentive of $50,000 in vouchers and discounts redeemable at a range of local businesses.

That palpable sense of Newcastle community spirit is never more evident in times of crisis, especially the one which we are currently facing and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said she hoped the app would help alleviate some of the stress currently faced by many Novocastrians.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on our community, with older people experiencing increased isolation and businesses suffering a downturn in trade, while other people have found themselves suddenly with more time on their hands,” Cr Nelmes said. 

“We have been hearing from many people in the community wanting to help but not knowing how. Lean In Newy is the answer to those asking, ‘How can I help?”

She added that a range of charitable organisations, such as OzHarvest, Dog Rescue Newcastle, and Take 3 For The Sea have already registered with the app to put out a call for volunteering opportunities.

And those charitable folk who put their hand up will be rewarded with incentives like a free coffee at a local café or discounts at a range of stores.

“There are already 23 businesses and 11 not-for-profits signed up, with more in talks, and City of Newcastle is funding the discounts or incentives offered through businesses during the COVID-19 recovery phase,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Lean In Newy is a fantastic way for us to play our part in helping local businesses and community organisations get back on their feet.” 

Kate McNally owner of the Marketown and Kotara homewares store Zebra Finch said the app was a “relief.”

“As a small business, we have felt the impacts of COVID-19 closures and social distancing measures quite profoundly, with a significant downturn in trade,” she said.

“It’s a relief to have the City’s support to help get back on track.”

Lean in Newy is available to download for free from the App Store, Google Play or by heading here.