Hunter Simba FC has been needing a fridge for some time. When they have a fundraiser sausage sizzle they have to buy ice which reduces profits and also means any left-overs cannot be stored or frozen. Thanks to an enterprising Enterpriser a good second-hand fridge was located and delivered to their shed. The Great Moscow Circus is occupying the Hunter Simba home ground at present but with a trolley and a couple of willing circus people it was soon up the stairs and installed. The fridge was nicknamed "Chewbacca" by its previous owners as it groans interestingly in its defrost cycle. Another good job done for a community group and thank you to the generous Carrington residents who donated it.
Handing this to people at various functions and venues and asking them about possible projects has brought a number of ideas to the fore. At this time they are general concepts rather than fully thought out and specific projects but here are the expressed thoughts so far.
Mental health Services are losing funding which was of concern to a mother whose son suffers from bipolar disorder. She said "Oh we just have to get by" sadly and resigned.
Raising awareness about being a blood donor and encouraging people to be brave (it doesn't hurt but there is a fear).
Homelessness again, and the need for health checks and dental care.
Recognition of intellectual disabilities such as Autism Spectrum and the early treatment which is available. Getting treatment early reduces the effects on the child in later life. Native animal rescue and the need for care services which are similar to those for domestic animals - research, hospital care and conservation.
Some might have seen our flyer asking community members for ideas for projects where they have seen a need.
From a Property Manager came a simple way for someone on a low income to avoid being evicted for being late or very over due with the rent and therefore ending up on a "black list", making it harder to get another rental. A client had the sense to ring her and say that she was late with the rent because she had a $900 electricity bill to pay. Turned out the renter - honest but unsophisticated - had no idea that she could organise regular fortnightly payments to drip-feed her various bills. Would an educating brochure - graphic rather than wordy - with simple daily living tips like this help? Or can you think of an even better way?
Homelessness is listed by Islington businesses in a Newcastle Herald article as a more pressing problem than sex workers plying their trade. Being homeless is the very bottom of the poverty ladder so anything which can prevent a person being homeless has got to be top priority. There are a multitude of factors putting people in that helpless state - high cost of housing, mental illness, poor health, poorly paid work - and getting access to dental care is probably one of the hardest services to afford. Giving small toiletries kits which include toothbrush and toothpaste for homeless people getting free meals would help - talked to a lady in Sydney who does this through free meals service. What about dental care itself - expensive but essential for good general health. Can we as Rotarians support a service which provides free and complete dental care for the homeless? Or create one if it doesn't exist?
The local Connect Day can assist those who know about it and can get there.