This week the team from Ashmont Community Centre in Wagga Wagga were announced the winners of the Anglicare Australia’s National Partnership Award. The award is one of four national awards given out annually across a network of over 30 community service organisations operating across Australia, and celebrates the partnership between the Anglicare Riverina Youth and Family Services team and the Anglican Community of the Redeemer Church.
Anglicare’s Regional Manager, Brad Addison was delighted with the result. “The partnership was formed because Anglicare and Redeemer Church wanted to see services made easily accessible to people in the Ashmont community. The team here know people by name and offer support, advocacy, resources, skills development and social interaction to often very vulnerable families who would otherwise struggle to find assistance.”
Sandy Wells is a Parish Councillor at Redeemer and was part of the formation of the partnership 16 years ago. “The church was already running kids classes, budgeting workshops and cooking classes for the community, but we wanted to do more,” she said. “Anglicare had the staffing, resources and guidelines in place to allow services to operate every day in a safe and innovative way. We wanted local families to feel safe to attend and to feel these services belonged to them. I think they do. We couldn’t do the scale of work without the support of Anglicare.”
Over the last year, hundreds of families have attended parenting groups, play groups and received housing assistance, emergency food and other supports. Initiatives specifically for Indigenous families are also run out of the centre. The partnership between Anglicare staff and the Parish and its volunteers successfully and respectfully provides a lynch-pin between those living in social housing and the surrounding community, fostering respect and tolerance for all members.
Rhys Bailey-Brown, Anglicare Riverina’s General Manager of Community Services, was honoured to accept the award on behalf of the team at a ceremony in Adelaide. “I’m very proud of the way Anglicare and Redeemer Church continue to serve the community so passionately by providing these much-needed services,” he said.