pdfWinsome Newsletter 2013.pdf Download

Providing a service to the community since 1990

From Our Patron (Tim Costello),

It has been a great privilege to be the Patron of The Winsome for the past 16 years. I have been in awe watching its development from a soup kitchen and feeding people into housing, hospitality, medical, spiritual and social care. It is a beacon of hope for people touched by mental illness, drug addiction, homelessness and ex prisoners. Anyone who visits the Winsome is immediately struck by the welcome and community. Whatever your wounds, whatever your past you are accepted.

Most of us idealise the notion of a welcoming community but believe it is not realistic with damaged and hurt people. We have such strong fears, even prejudices, that we assume it impossible and gravitate to a safe community with people who are just like us. The Winsome defies these fears and replaces them with the miracle of diversity where people are loved and healed and change.

Tim Costello
CEO, World Vision Australia

From Our President

The last 12 months have been another wonderful year in the life of the Lismore Soup Kitchen at the Winsome.

Last week I was reflecting on the many people whose lives are being changed and positively affected by the vibrant community at the Winsome.

People are truly finding a place to belong, and are contributing to the overall running, maintenance, painting, restoration, cleaning ,mowing the lawns and gardening, and this is so good to be a part of!

These days, the front room is open every day, as we have three baristas who are volunteering their time to serve a great cup of coffee every day. People gather around the bar, and socialise over a cup of coffee, and sometimes we have someone playing the piano, which adds a great touch!

The baristas are also taking phone orders from the businesses around the Winsome, and the cafe is enjoying the goodwill of the community.

The volunteers continue to cook amazing meals, catering for up to 70 people daily. This organisation is so special because of the dedication of the volunteers.

The outreach services from Centrelink, Lifeline, Legal Aid, Women's Health, and St Vincent de Paul are very much appreciated by the community at the Winsome. In addition to these services, Medicare Local has established a GPs clinic every Wednesday at the Winsome. We have become known as the hub, and it is pleasing to offer these services to our people.

The choirs which meet at the Winsome are also adding to the joy and wellbeing of many people, with the gospel choir participating in the lantern parade. A special thanks to Peter, for his commitment to the Winsome.

The accommodation is running well, with all the rooms full, and it is great to be able to offer accommodation to those without a home. It certainly is one of the joys of having the Winsome!! Thank you to all our supporters of the Winsome 500 Club. You are partnering with us in this wonderful community.

This year we are running a "tell a friend " campaign, and are asking all our supports to encourage a friend to join the Winsome 500 Club.

Best Wishes !!
Mieke Bell
President Lismore Soup Kitchen

Treasurer's Report

This is a note to say thank you to the many people that have supported The Lismore Soup Kitchen in so many ways over the past 12 months. There have been businesses in the area that have supported us for years with food donations and "in kind" help.

There are also many people who have supported financially, with one off or regular donations.

The Winsome 500 Club was established to provide an on-going support base for the work of the Soup Kitchen. The aim was to have 500 people making a direct debit each month of $10 or other amounts. To date, we have had 157 people commit to support totalling $2,580 per month.

This has been a fantastic regular support that involves the good will of the community, and allows people to give in a regular way. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

A special thank you to the Lismore Central Council of St Vincent de Paul Society who not only enable Leanne Gilchrist, their Homeless Outreach Worker to do such excellent work with the Winsome community but theyalso pay the Winsome's power and gas accounts.

Ridley Bell
Treasurer, Lismore Soup Kitchen Inc.


The staff of St George Bank, Lismore, obtained a flood grant of $5,000 on behalf of the Lismore Soup Kitchen following the floods in February this year. The photo is of Ridley Bell receiving the cheque from St George Manager.Don Kinscher and their lLending Manager Margie Perkins.

These funds will greatly assist the works of the Winsome.

Thank you St George.


The Lismore Soup Kitchen's contribution to the 2013 Lismore Lantern Parade was once again a resounding success. In fact it was the best ever, with $1,170 raised. It was a cold but clear evening after a rainy period.

Again, thanks are due to the generous support of Winsome volunteers with preparing some 12 large pots of soup and serving tea, coffee and milo. The paper cups were provided by Kemp Agencies (they have been doing so since 2004). The soup cooks included Sonja, Rhonda, Giselle, Margo, Peter, Diane, Bridget, Marie, Kerryn, Jo, Jan and Robyn. Varieties of soups included pumkin, pea and ham, spicy sweet potato, ministronie, potato soup and lentil soup. The workers in the tent were Annetta and husband Miles, Jim and Peter. Thanks also to Al Jones for transporting, set up and set down of tent, cooking items and electrical.


A new resident initiated kayak construction project is underway at the Winsome. The rear of the back shed has been converted into a secure construction facility with restricted access, locked tool cupboards, saw benches and improved overhead lighting enabling the necessary infrastructure for such a project.

Initiated by Project Marine Designers Paul W and Robert N, much research has been undertaken by them to construct firstly a single person fibreglass kayak as a forerunner of the Winsome fleet. A consultative Advisory Team comprising Richard White from Centrelink Lismore and Chris Mason, a teacher at Woodlawn College, has been and will continue to be available to advise when requested. Richard has enabled the provision of two propulsion and steering units with forward, reverse and turning capabilities. (Paddles).

A removable on board computer and source of driving energy with variable speed controls, is being incorporated. (Paddler).

Our thanks to St Vincent de Paul, Lismore, for the provision of seed capital and to their Leanne Gilchrist, a very capable Financial Controller and Funds Manager.

A test unit has been constructed with temporary waterproofing to enable in-water testing to ascertain refinements such as depth of freeboard (buoyancy), repositioning of the cockpit seat to minimise fore and aft tilting, unguided direction finding and manourverability.

The Chief Boatswain during these secret Wilson River test exercises was a very unflappable and confident Tony B, a seasoned mariner with no desire to be a submariner. On person and on board flotation devices minimised any chance of immersibility.

With design improvisations nearing completion the craft frame will be fibreglassed and officially launched with multitasking Leanne Gilchrist in the cockpit.

The completion date, the naming of the craft and official launch details will be decided by the Project Designers in consultation with the Funds Manager. It is the intention of the Project Designers and Principal Contractors Paul W and Robert N, to construct several similar craft and ultimately a polished timber version.

Any reader who may wish to donate seasoned (old) chisels, mallets, small hand planes and the like can contact me on 0428 665 445.

With thanks to all.

Paul Murphy


Following the conversion of the back shed to a workshop, demand from Winsome personnel has Paul W and Robert N multi tasking with a variety of repair jobs.

Nick Z has sanded and restained all external timber doors on the first floor front and rear. He has similarly treated 4 timber tables. He is currently in the process of restoring the rear first floor balcony railing. Nick also maintains the pot plants on the same residential level.

Les M.is currently giving these tables a second coat of varnish.

Gene (non resident) is painting bedroom walls as the rooms become vacant. Thanks guys, jobs well done.

Management is appreciative of those residents performing their cleaning duties.


Hot Lunches Daily

The Soup Kitchen still has a strong team every day to be able to serve hot lunches for up to 70 people. Some days we see 30 patrons and most days we see about 60 – 70 people. The kitchen has had some minor changes and signs are mostly used for better communication between volunteers.

The kitchen is under constant review so that any dangers or needed repairs are reported to the committee members and decisions and actions can be made promptly. The kitchen does have some needs at present. The lino floor needs replacing and some of the walls need to have stainless steel panels.

In all the kitchen is working well and I am very happy with the volunteers that do their best to keep it clean.


The front bar of the Winsome is turned into a restaurant venue every couple of months. There is live music and a restaurant style menu to choose from. Each of these nights has been a success.

The entertainment has been exceptional. I am so grateful to have excellent staff on board and great food to offer. Most restaurant nights have featured a guest chef which has been people in the Lismore community who have a talent with flavours. The night gives them an opportunity to experience kitchen life in the commercial field.


The front bar of the Winsome is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm offering Caddies coffee to the general public. This is totally run by volunteer baristas and it is proving to be a success.

Coffees and all other hot and cold drinks are sold for only $2. I wanted to put a price on the drinks that I knew patrons of the soup kitchen could afford. Plus I also wanted to respect the volunteers on providing them with great coffee at a low price. It is mainly the soup kitchen people and the volunteers that are supporting the café and this is ensuring it's ability to stay open.

Everyone is loving the atmosphere that the front room provides (plus Karen's yummy cakes).

Sharon Dwyer
Kitchen Coordinator


The Lismore Soup Kitchen has provided a space for us to meet weekly for the last 8 months. We are a fellowship of equals who are seeking spiritual growth and healing. Using the 12 steps, traditions and concepts of recovery, adapted from the world renowned program of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Our addictions could be drugs, alcohol, smoking, food or unhealthy relationships. The participants of our group are male and female adults from young to older; each person is important, expressing something we can all listen and learn from.

We seek truth and love through developing honest and deeper relationships with God and each other and right relationships with family, friends and our greater community. We share our humanness and strive to connect with our authentic selves. It is safe to share what is in our hearts and minds because it is confidential and everyone participates equally.

Our objective is to learn to stand for ourselves, but not against our fellows. No longer isolated or frightened, we are free to delight in life's paradoxes, mystery and awe and support each other in discovering our unique contribution on earth.

We meet Fridays 2.30pm to 4pm Winsome Hotel main room.

Diana Muirhead

Editor: Paul Murphy 0428 665 445
Compositor: Paul W

Across this region and beyond, there are a large number of supporters who pledge a regular gift to the Winsome 500 Club. Please click here to become part of this team.


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