Uniting Aid needs volunteers to power on.

Many readers will be aware of Uniting Aid and what its function is, however, for those who are not familiar with the organisation, the following is a run-down of what Uniting Aid is all about.

It all started in June 1981, when the churches in the Yokine Region Uniting Church Parish began a phone contact service from the Dianella Church office offering to assist people in the local community with emergency food, domestic help, shopping and respite support for home carers. Rev Marie Wilson was the first Director of Uniting Aid and Wendy Gardner, after completing a Voluntary Welfare Studies diploma course, accepted the role of Co-ordinator in 1983.

Caring services for people in need were extended during the first decade with training courses offered in a variety of areas including budget cooking, keep fit classes and, under the leadership of John McKechnie, a free legal advice service. Caring services have continued since then and evolved to what they are today with over 20,000 family units receiving more than $1.3 million in emergency relief payments and food over the past 10 years.

Today, Uniting Aid assists clients in the local government area of the City of Stirling, with current Centrelink or Health Cards, with emergency relief in the form of food, clothing, household goods etc., and some financial assistance with utility bills. The centre at 19 Monterey Street, Nollamara is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.00am to 11.45am.

An Op-shop also operates from the Nollamara premises which sells items of clothing and household goods — second-hand and new at very low prices. This helps cover some of the centre’s operational costs.

Feedback from some of the clients:

Of course, it would not be possible to provide this service without a dedicated group of volunteers and Uniting Aid has been very fortunate over the years in this regard. However, the time has come to call for more volunteers. There are several roles people can perform for the organisation, some include interviewing clients whereas others are supportive roles such as maintaining the pantry, cleaning or working in the Op-shop and resource centre.

The other side of the coin is, of course, donations. Uniting Aid is fortunate to have the generous support of many individuals, community groups, businesses, and congregations.

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