Graceades Cottage - News

A report from our Manager

This year Graceades Community Cottage has shown all of Australia - who we are and what we are about.

We did not set out to publicise the cottage and the work we do through the SBS series released as "Struggle Street". However when clients asked us to support them in telling their stories via this medium we decided it was a chance to show many residents faced disadvantage on a daily basis, but continued to help other people in their community to get through difficult times.

We thank Ivanka for all the hard work and effort in organising the event, co-ordinating programs and managing the students. With Janice they head their amazing team of casual employees, volunteers and student placements who work with children, young people and families across Mt Druitt, providing services, programs and support wherever needed. You truly are the heart and soul of Graceades Community Cottage. That message did come across to viewers and many positives have resulted for Graceades Cottage and our communities. More on that later in the report and in next years report as well.

The organisation has dedicated a great deal of time and resources to gaining new skills in marketing, social media and looking 'Outside the Square" when planning new programs and new sources of funding. Workers have taken on board ideas gleaned from the Communities in Control Conference in Melbourne while gaining from valuable contributions of Volunteers and Student Placements from Tafe and Private Training Colleges.

Some programs came toa close at the end of 2015. New partnerships have been opened to us as:

• Anglicare - enabling established of M.E.T.S Mens's program at Willmot Community Hub.

• Connect Child and Family Services - establishment of (Kindergarten) Kids Zone at Willmot Public School.

• Holy Family, Emerton - Youth Programs, Food distribution and of course Willmot Hub premises.

• Stepping Stones, Train the Trainer Program - Triple P for parents of kids with disabilities.

• State Dept Recovery Office - Work Development Orders for disadvantaged people needing to pay off State Debt Fine.

We have continued to meet our targets in service provision for our core Funding Body FACS and completed our original 4 year Learning Enrichment Program "Hook'D UP" for funders Mission Australia. Graceades Cottage has stayed true to our core values, gained skills to embrace Social Media, Marketing and new fund raising techniques. We have sustained trust with grass roots communities and families and are well placed to face the changes to come to the Community Sector in the future.

There is no secret formula to the success of Graceades Cottage. We have great staff, who are true professionals. thanks Ivanka and Janice, tops in their fields. thanks to casual staff David and Hamit who work with the Men's program, Wendy for her beading talents, Amy and Katherine kid's program. thanks to all casual staff who help when needed. Thanks to Danielle for her hard work on the Bidwill Voice Newsletter, Peter who supplies IT services and volunteers his special expertise. Thanks to all student placements and volunteers who have supported our work and special projects throughout the year.

Really BIG THANKS to Brenda our "Administration / Book Keeper" and Community Support Worker. I could not function without her quiet calm and expert, financial and back office support.

To each member of the Graceades Cottage board of Management - Thank you for the time and effort you devote to steering this little ship through, sometimes, very stormy seas.

Patricia Formosa - Manager

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