Neighbourhood Centre up for an award
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.