High profile volunteer lends a hand for vital food services

High profile volunteer lends a hand for vital food services

The Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley has added her support for the St Stephen’s Uniting Church meal service that operates in Sydney’s CBD.

Ms Beazley is a high-profile example of how the church’s food services run by valued volunteers to deliver vital support to vulnerable members of the community.

When asked about what inspired her to volunteer with the food service, the Governor told Insights;

I come from a background with an underpinning philosophy of – where there is a need then you help. It’s a philosophy that came through from my family and  in my education with the Sisters of St Joseph.

The particular inspiration to help at St Stephens was twofold really.

Quite a number of years ago when I was driving to work after having dropped the children off to their schools, I saw a judge that I knew walking up a hill. She was having a little difficulty, so I offered her a lift. At the time I assumed she was out for a morning walk but, in fact, she had been helping at St Matthew Talbot, as she did at frequent intervals. And so the thought – when I have the time, I am going to have to give that sort of basic help to the community.

Then at the end of last year I was at a Rotary event and met Marilyn Smith from City Community Care, who told me that she was doing the Early Bird Café program that I had often seen on the steps of St Stephens. I thought to myself – this is the time to do what I said I would do all those years ago.

Like much of the life changing community work done throughout our State, it is a program made possible by good people and kind volunteers.

St Stephen’s Early Bird Café serves hot breakfast to 70-80 people each weekday morning and has lots of extra things for take away.

At the end of 2020, the Synod office launched a directory to publicise these food services with the hope that those in need – particularly those hit by COVID – could find support more easily.

Staring with just 16 listings, the directory has more than doubled with 33 listings and is still growing.

If you run a Uniting Church food service and would like it added to the Find a Feed directory, email contactus@nswact.uca.org.au.

Ashley Donnelly

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