Do­na­tion to help kids in refuge

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE sun has been shin­ing on the Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice (WCCS) in re­cent weeks where vi­tal fund­ing has been con­firmed and a kind do­na­tion of toys for the cen­tre’s women’s refuge has been re­ceived.

WCCS chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Car­men Bekker said fund­ing had been se­cured for the cen­tre’s sex­ual vi­o­lence sup­port pro­gram, via the Queens­land Govern­ment’s Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties.

“In fact all of our pro­grams have re­tained their cur­rent fund­ing lev­els,” Ms Bekker said.

Like many other com­mu­nity ser­vice providers, Ms Bekker said WCCS had ex­pe­ri­enced its share of fund­ing cuts in the past 12 months.

“But WCCS has been for­tu­nate in that it did not re­sult in per­ma­nent job losses,” she said.

“We’ve man­aged to re­tain all our pro­grams and all our per­ma­nent staff and we’ll con­tinue to pro­vide ser­vices through­out the wider Whit­sun­day coun­cil re­gion.”

The ic­ing on this good-news cake was the re­ceipt of toys worth $212.61, do­nated by Whit­sun­day res­i­dent Michelle Dav­i­son.

On June 27, Ms Dav­i­son went to Cen­tro’s Big W look­ing to lay-by some toys for a Christ­mas ap­peal, but she de­cided to buy the toys and do­nate them to the cri­sis cen­tre’s women’s refuge in­stead.

Ms Dav­i­son, who of­ten looks for op­por­tu­ni­ties to put smiles on strangers’ faces, says she does so be- cause “it makes such a big dif­fer­ence”. Ms Bekker couldn’t thank her enough.

“We do have a lo­cal safe house for women and chil­dren and fund­ing sup­ports only the op­er­a­tional costs not ex­tras, so things like toys and clothes [are not funded for],” she said. “We’ve had as many as 17 chil­dren in that refuge, mostly un­der the age of seven, so we go through a lot of toys. They get used con­stantly.”

HELP­ING HAND: WCCS CEO Car­men Bekker with a pho­to­graph of the many toys do­nated to the cen­tre's women's refuge this week by Whit­sun­day res­i­dent Michelle Dav­i­son.

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