With the support of so many in the community, St John’s Care can do a lot to help people in need.
However, many problems are complex and require broader solutions beyond the scope of any one agency.
One of the hardest areas is supporting people (usually women and children) escaping domestic violence.
Last week, we saw a lady with four children who had moved here from interstate to escape a violent situation. She was staying in a motel and awaiting accommodation so the family could settle down. Unfortunately, the only accommodation available was well away from where they currently live and where the traumatized children have now settled into school and life.
One teenage daughter is not coping well, so the mother is understandably reluctant to move to a house which takes the daughter away from her friends, school and new life.
St John’s Care was able to provide food and other items to assist this family and offer them a loving, supportive experience but we could not meet all the needs of this complex situation.
While I am excited to be at the coalface of helping people in a time of need, I am often sad that I can’t wave a magic wand and solve the complex problems many of our clients have.
It makes me appreciate even more my loving family who gave me positive life experiences and skills to cope, to study and to earn a good living.
Another client we saw last week had not had such positive experiences and didn’t know how to cook as she had never been taught. We were able to give her some ready-made casseroles, a frozen pizza and other easy to prepare food that she could provide to her children.
Our stocks of frozen meals are now depleted, so if you would like to donate one or two take away containers with soups or casseroles in them (and labelled on the short side with the ingredients) they will be gratefully received. Thank you Anne, one of our regular cooks for immediately agreeing to provide a few more casseroles.
On a positive note, our new Community Worker, Saerah, starts next week. She will have the chance to follow up with clients in ways that we haven’t been able to do to date. It is really great to be able to expand our services in this way because it is a natural progression from what our wonderful volunteers offer here each day. So welcome Saerah.
No doubt Stuart will provide more information to you in future bulletins about Saerah’s role as it develops.
Wish list: a magic wand, toothpaste, tissues, sanitary products, shampoo & conditioner
Rhonda Thorpe, SJC, Operations Manager