A PDF Version of this newsletter can be downloaded from here
- From Mieke
- From The Treasurer
- From the Kitchen and Cafe
- A Vital Community
- Rous House
- Rod & Mel - Volunteers
- From a Winsome Resident
- Winsome Reconstruction
From Mieke Bell
A Barista's Good Idea ….
(Thank you Martin !!)
In July last year, after serving takeaways only, and no coffee for 5 months, Martin suggested that he would make "Barista made coffee" available again to our volunteers, and of course to our patrons. This was very well received, and in August, we decided to invite people in again for lunch, and coffee at 10.00 am.All volunteers were so happy to have our patrons come into the Winsome again. Interestingly, only a small number of our people are coming inside, with most still preferring the takeaway meals.
We welcomed the doctors from Alstonville back to the Winsome some months ago, and the Winsome Clinic continues to be of great value to our patrons. A Big Thankyou to Tony, Luke and Jodie !!
Thanks as always, to our very dedicated and committed volunteers. Many occasions of service happen daily, because of the wonderful team at the Winsome. Thanks also to our 500 Club Supporters. We couldn't do it without you.
Thank you to everyone, including our 500 Club Members as well as other folk who generously donate at various times during the past year. At this time there are approximately 140 people donating regularly each month as well as a number of people donating on a one off basis. This brings over $5000 per month into the donations account, and has helped manage the finances adequately, and bring the debt down to a very manageable level. There are a number of people who give regularly on line, through the 'Give Now' online system, and we thank you all.
The finances have been strong enough to allow the Soup Kitchen to borrow to purchase another house in Goonellabah, which is currently being painted and renovated to provide accommodation to a family whose needs have been brought to our attention.
The rents from tenants in Mazzer House in South Lismore, as well as the Winsome, where there is a high rate of occupancy, generate approximately $120,000 per year that puts the Soup Kitchen on a sound financial footing, not requiring government funding to operate and provide the services that it does.
Ridley Bell, Treasurer
The kitchen is still providing wholesome meals for people in our community and the volunteer base is as strong as ever.
In all of 2020 we provided 24,094 meals.
We were able to open our doors for our patrons to dine in on January 27th 2021 as we had a Covid Plan in place and enough volunteers to follow through with the plan. Takeaway is still offered and is mostly preferred by our customers.
The Cafe is still operating and we now sometimes need an extra person in the Cafe to make the free instant hot drinks.
A special Cook’s Dinner night was held in May with the help of a number of volunteers to show our appreciation of the dedication you all have shown and continue to show.
For more than 12 months now some volunteers have been taking home the plastic, tin and glass recycling to their own yellow recycling bins at home and also the kitchen food prep waste to either their chooks or green council waste bin. We are also recycling all the crushable clean plastic, bread clips and plastic bottle lids. This has reduced waste for the kitchen and this waste has been put to better use. There is a Pig Sanctuary in Tenterfield and their volunteers take away the food that is no longer fit for human consumption.
Our volunteers are all a very wonderful bunch of people who continue to amaze me with their support and commitment.
Sharon Dwyer, Kitchen Manager
A Vital Community - Steve Smith
The Winsome continues to meet people's fundamental human needs … and the need has never been greater.
Australia is in the grip of a housing affordability crisis. This impacts most on people on lower incomes as rental prices spike following the unprecedented boom in housing sales over the past decade. Rental affordability is at an all-time low and many renters are being pushed to the margins, even being pushed out of their tenancies and forced into further housing hardship - couch-surfing with friends or family, sleeping in sheds, garages, cars or caravans or having to rely on temporary accommodation and other provisions by welfare agencies.
Northern Rivers has nearly 4% of the State's overall population but nearly 19% of the State's population of rough-sleepers. This is the second highest proportion of people in NSW "sleeping rough" behind the Sydney CBD. And out of 93 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Regional NSW, Lismore has the 21st highest number of people experiencing homelessness. A Street-Count of people sleeping-rough conducted in February 2021 by Housing NSW noted there were 48 people sleeping rough on the streets of Lismore…. however there is likely many more also experiencing tenuous or transient housing. The upcoming Census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will help to accurately capture and quantify the number of vulnerable people actually experiencing homelessness in all its forms and descriptions. Hopefully this will translate into increased funding, services and support for the most vulnerable people in our LGA and region. As it has done in the past, The Winsome will again partner with and support the efforts of the ABS by helping to capture information relating to our patrons and those that access our services. People experiencing homelessness have a much higher prevalence of mental illness and other health related challenges which add to the complexity of their lives and the difficulties facing them as they attempt to navigate the service system and seek support.
The Winsome provides a vital community hub for services to connect with people in a safe and supportive environment… and for our people to reach out to services they may otherwise not approach or engage with on their own. The Winsome continues to work and liaise with government and non-government agencies to connect our patrons with the specialist support they need to hurdle the obstacles in their lives - whether they be in housing, mental heath, general health, legal matters, financial hardship or other presenting issues. The value of these crucial connections cannot be understated and it only happens thanks to the ongoing contributions of donors, supporters and volunteers of The Winsome.
As our treasurer reports, we have purchased a house in Goonellabah with the intention of firstly providing some additional accommodation, but also with a longer term view of potential development. There is nothing specifically decided on it yet, but the possibilities are promising.
Lismore Soup Kitchen’s first significant purchase was Mazzer House—and I wish to honour and pay tribute to the tireless commitment to love, lived out by sister Margaret Mazzer, whom ‘Mazzer House’ is named after. I have very fond memories of sister Margaret who passed away several years ago. Lismore has some amazing citizens.
-Ian Phillips, Winsome Chaplain
We enjoy coming over where I attend church at One in Christ which is held inside The Winsome each Sunday morning. We usually go outside The Winsome and say hello to anyone who is there looking for a cup of tea or coffee. We love to be able to do what seems to be something we so easily take for granted and make them a hot cup of whatever they would like before church starts.After church we love to help with handing out meals, and whatever else needs to be done during this time. Sometimes people like to just have a chat before they leave which I always like to do.It’s great to be a part of the Winsome family, we always take the time to speak to each other and help out not only the people who come to visit us for meals but those who volunteer as well.
From a Winsome Resident...
A Few Thoughts on Rewards from Assisting Others.
The Journey of life is like a big maze; we start at point "A" (time of birth) and make our way to point "B" (time of earthly departure). The maze varies tremendously in difficulty for individuals; for some life is generally easy and the maze will encounter few dead ends or bad roads - for others it can be endlessly troubled with little going smoothly and many dead ends or bad roads one never wanted to go down maybe encountered before reaching point "B".
Troubled times can fall upon anyone from any walk of life at any given moment and whether it be by their own miscalculations or from unprecedented external influences, it can happen promptly and the world they once knew may have significantly changed overnight; which may be loss of family, serious illness, business collapse, loss of employment, bankruptcy, motor vehicle accident, criminal or legal interference etc., possibly with some eventually ending up destitute, homeless, prison incarceration and or especially worse suicide.
This opportunity has provided numerous people with the incentive to study (online or at the local university or TAFE), while some have embarked on new business ventures eg [the author] has been able to pursue on going field and lab studies here in Australia and abroad in the area of natural history due to the support of the Winsome.
While not as significant as scoring the job of President of the USA or Russia, it’s fairly clear that when people are provided with incentive or a means to do so, those acts of kindness can result in major changes to someone's well-being and the longevity of life.
Kindness when implemented wisely can be a very powerful tool for someone to realise their own self worth and can even broaden the minds of local communities.
Well, the Winsome Reconstruction Project is nearing it’s successful conclusion after several years of hard work by Leon Platt, fitting us in with his external building schedule. The underpinning of the building has been finalised together with external drainage works. Internal subfloor ventilation and drainage only has safety grilles and a support bar to the basement wall buttresses to install to satisfy the Engineer and Council’s Works Order. Council has inspected the works to date. Over $50,000 of State Building Partnerships funds were obtained to assist with the costs of the overall project.
A rusted pressed metal ceiling and cornice to Room 205 have been replaced with identical profiles. Leon was able to source the metal sections from Bathurst whilst he was in that area on family business. Well done Leon. The ceiling painting is now in progress.
Three more rooms have been recarpeted and repainted over the last period bringing the room refurbishment to a satisfactory conclusion also.
My thanks to Leon in particular, Mieke and Ridley, Steve our in house painter and all who were associated with the Winsome works, enabling it to live on for another 100 plus years.
Paul Murphy, Building Manager