The new Inner Wheel Club of Tuggerah Lakes is making positive changes in the community with its charity work.
The 27-member club supports many organisations including We Care Connect, that provides support for Family and Community Services Caseworkers for families in distress, as well as Berkeley Vale Rural Fire Service, Cord Blood Research which is an Inner Wheel Australia-wide project, and the Share the Dignity Drive for women in refuges.
Since launching in October 2019, Inner Wheel of Tuggerah Lakes Club Secretary, Judy Townsend, said the group has donated over $20,000 to these charities, including one that supports HSC students at Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College The Entrance Campus, who do not have parental or guardian support.
“I’ve been with the Inner Wheel club in Gosford for years, but it was becoming too much of a trek to travel to meetings in Kariong, so I decided to start the club up here,” Townsend said.
“We run Bunnings barbecues, and High Teas, as well as a street stall at Bateau Bay Square to raise money for our charities.
“Our street stalls always raise around $1,200 each time and our High Teas sell out as soon as they are announced.
“We seem to attract good cooks.
“We were meant to be holding a High Tea in October but that has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“I announced on Facebook that we were cancelling the High Tea and that we had raised $10,000 for TLSC The Entrance’s Wellbeing program.
“It supports students who don’t have any support from a parent or carer and are working, or are homeless, to support them through the HSC.
“A former student of the school reached out to me looking to donate money as she was in a similar position when she was in Year 12.
“We tried getting her to come and talk at our next High Tea, but she said that she just wanted to donate the money, and she had said that she had already deposited the money into our account.
“I went and checked it thinking it would only be $100 or so, and I saw that she had donated $10,000,” Townsend said.
The money was donated by Denise Duffield-Thomas, who was a student at TLSC The Entrance, and lived in a refuge while completing her HSC.
Duffield-Thomas is now an Author, Money Mindset Mentor and Founder of Money Bootcamp and is now based in Merewether.
TLSC’s Wellbeing Program supports students by providing them with a breakfast program, professional driving lessons to help students get to school, financial assistance to purchase school supplies and essential excursions, supplying students with hygiene products such as deodorants, psychologist fees if needed, as well as Barista, Responsible Service of Alcohol, and Responsible Service for Gambling courses.
“The money donated will be a huge help to the program, especially now that COVID has stopped us from fundraising, and it’s a great program that is really helping these students.
“At our last High Tea, we had a former student of the Wellbeing Program, Amy, come along as a guest speaker and she talked about her experience and how the program helped her, and how she was kicked out of home due to Domestic Violence.
“She talked about how much the program helped her get through the HSC, and how it put her in touch with a psychologist, and now she’s in her second year of uni.
“It’s amazing to see just how much this program can help these students,” Townsend said.
The Inner Wheel Club of Tuggerah Lakes is always looking for new members, and meets at The Entrance Leagues Club on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm.
Those interested in joining can contact Judy Townsend at email@example.com or by phoning her on 0409 240 740.