‘It’s a hand-up, not a handout’: DARA at Woodberry

DARA’s Van now operates a service in Woodberry service after Tracy Iles, Auxiliary Lieutenant of The Salvation Army Centre Raymond Terrace, approached the Van’s Coordinator, Baden Ellis about entering into a partnership.

 

 

Baden saw a great need in the Woodberry area – and felt that by joining forces the two organisations could make a difference to those in need.

“Working with these teams is like working with a family,” Tracy said of the partnership.

“I just love that services come together and bring all their skills together to make the community a place where each person can feel valued and worthy.”

But DARA’s Van and The Salvation Army aren’t alone in their mission. CatholicCare Hunter-Manning has also come on board to make a difference in the Woodberry area.

Erwin Webb, a counsellor with CatholicCare, attends the breakfast every Friday morning to provide a casual general counselling service to anyone in need.

“It’s a place of extreme need. I come just to have a casual interaction with the community and give them access (to additional services if required),” Erwin said.

Envoy Ron Peterson from The Salvation Army adds that the service is about more than just providing a free meal.

“We give them a hand-up, not a hand-out,” he said, referring to the additional services and support offered by DARA and its partners to the Woodberry community.

“It’s much more than the meal,” Baden said, “it’s about connecting the community and offering a safe place for everyone to come and be together as one.”

The service has been well-received by the Woodberry community, with many commenting on the difference it has made already.

Friend of DARA, Leanne, said, “It’s just amazing that all the services have come down here to connect with our community. It’s a wonderful community and it’s just amazing that they’ve come in to support us.”

You can catch DARA’s Van at 44 Kookaburra Parade, Woodberry between 7:30am to 9:00am every Friday.

DARA’s Van is always looking for donors and volunteers to support its service. If you can help, visit their website.

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Alexander Foster Image
Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is the Digital Communications Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle