Com­mu­nity ac­claim

Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre up for an award

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Clau­dia Alp clau­dia.alp@whit­sun­day­

THE un­sung heroes of our com­mu­nity could fi­nally re­ceive the recog­ni­tion they de­serve after a nom­i­na­tion landed the Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre in con­tention for a 2018 Queens­land Com­mu­nity Achieve­ment Award.

WNC, now spear­headed by ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Re­becca Woods, be­gan 28 years ago, but per­haps the strong­est im­pres­sion left on the com­mu­nity was the sup­port it pro­vided post-Cyclone Deb­bie last year.

When the bare essentials were out of reach for some fam­i­lies due to se­vere flood­ing, WNC was on the ground de­liv­er­ing food sup­plies, fuel, bot­tled wa­ter and other ne­ces­si­ties to lo­cals.

Dur­ing the first three days, they re­sponded to more than 200 ap­pli­ca­tions for as­sis­tance while 14 truck­loads were sent to smaller towns such as Midge Point, Hide­away Bay, Shute Har­bour and Dingo Beach.

Up to three weeks later, WNC part­nered with Ro­tary and Vol­un­teer Whit­sun­days to pro­vide the essentials in the form of a pop-up shop eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble to res­i­dents.

Ms Woods out­lined fur­ther achieve­ments in the for­ma­tion of The First Feet project and Back 2 School packs which have as­sisted more than 400 stu­dents in the re­gion by sup­ply­ing them with school shoe vouch­ers and sta­tionery kits.

“Back 2 school and First Feet were huge projects that took six months to de­liver but in that time we gave out 220 $50 shoe vouch­ers and 180 $50 sta­tionery packs,” Ms Woods said.

“Ev­ery­thing was sourced lo­cally via In­ter­sport or Shoe­biz and a lo­cal newsagency in Proser­pine to help out the econ­omy through a flow-on ef­fect.”

Ms Woods said the team was “ab­so­lutely stoked” to hear about the nom­i­na­tion.

“We love help­ing out the com­mu­nity. We don’t do it for the awards but when we do get recog­ni­tion for our ef­forts, it gives you a bit of val­i­da­tion work­ing in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

WNC of­fers a range of di­rect ser­vices to the com­mu­nity in­clud­ing a fam­ily sup­port pro­gram, emer­gency re­lief, child care (0-5 years) IT classes, writ­ing as­sis­tance, fit­ness classes and re­cently a lo­cal cancer sup­port group to name a few.

The 2018 Queens­land Com­mu­nity Achieve­ments Awards will be judged on Oc­to­ber 5 with pre­sen­ta­tions to be made to win­ners on Novem­ber 30.


UN­SUNG HEROES: Kelvin Travis, Kerri Brown, Nikki Twohill, Sylvia Byrne-Smith and David Mor­ris from Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre.

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