Charities humbled by swelling support

Local charities loading donations at Gosford RSL

A range of local charities and non-profit organisations across the Peninsula are taking an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach to support those in need and have been overwhelmed by the support residents have offered during the lockdown.

Sally Liedberg from Mary Macs Place, a charity that supplies meals to vulnerable members of the community in Woy Woy, said she has marvelled at the response from the community.

“I am so humbled by the response, both this year and last, with how much the community on the Coast comes together in times of need,” she said.

“I often have individuals who call me up asking what we need and showing up an hour later with trolleys full of groceries.”

Nikki Willmette, who manages St Vincent de Paul’s Society in Woy Woy, said she has also noticed a large increase in requests for urgent support, across all parts of the community.

“We have identified more people seeking help who have never used our service before,” Willmette said.

“I had one lady say to me that she used to donate to us but is now in need of our services.

“People are doing a marvellous job, be it from local school communities, individuals seeking to help, and from businesses such as Point Clare Pharmacy which has been providing essential medicines to those who are currently unable to afford it.”

Willmette said the organisation is continually in need of food supplies to make hampers for struggling families.

Physical donations are also being accepted at their Woy Woy and Gosford sites with the necessary safety precautions in place.

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, said she is ‘beyond thankful’ with the influx of support from the community to help those struggling.

“I am beyond proud of our community and volunteers who have truly stepped up and gone above and beyond to help those who otherwise would be left behind,” she said.

“We need to continue our amazing response to helping fellow Coasties and remember that help is always out there for those who need it.

“Despite the unprecedented lockdowns we are facing, this is one huge positive for Coasties and something that we should all be very proud of … I definitely am.”

Tesch said she wanted to remind those seeking assistance that services provided by St Vincent’s remain available for those experiencing domestic violence and homelessness via phone and on-site with appropriate mask wearing.

If you are in need of assistance, contact St Vincent’s at (02) 4341 7535.

Coast-wide, the Central Coast Disaster Relief (CCDR) recently announced ongoing success with their food drives, with help from Gosford RSL donations to deal with the increased demand on the Coast.

Another local community group, Coast Hands, have been active across the Central Coast, from providing food and groceries to the homeless in Kibble Park, to delivering food hampers to local schools.

Media release, Aug 23
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch