The $16,375 funding for HopeStreet Dubbo, granted by the NSW Government Community Building Partnerships program, was recently announced by Member for the Dubbo electorate, Dugald Saunders MP.
The barbeque trailer, due to be completed in April, will feature a fridge and stereo system, and carry its own power, allowing our team to bring hope to the most isolated areas and vulnerable regional communities.
“It’s a wonderful continuation of the outreach that we have been doing, both in Dubbo and our rural communities over the last two to three years,” said Karen Windley, Manager of BaptistCare HopeStreet Dubbo.
“There’s communities who can’t really access Dubbo due to the distance and their isolation. We’ve been able to connect with them over the last few tough years, and partner with services like PCYC and OzHarvest, churches and farming communities to deliver hope.”
“The barbeque trailer will mean we can gather communities and do events in local areas that may not have many facilities or services available. We can take it to the people. It’s going to make a big difference,” said Karen.
HopeStreet Dubbo currently offers a number of services to people living with disadvantage and distress in the community, including no interest and low interest loans, a welcoming community space and food support.
Over the last few months Karen has been personally contacted by community members in rural areas, including Aboriginal communities, church congregations, and small towns.
“People are asking us to come out, to bring hope and support for a great many broken and hurting people, who currently don’t have the answers. I’ve heard their concerns around drugs, youth crime and a gap in services available due to the chaos of drought, fires and COVID 19,” said Karen.
“We do that by travelling out, bringing supplies and services where we can and meeting people where they are. I see the barbeque trailer as something that can really enhance what we are doing there.”
“When we do get the opportunity to come together over a meal, I see hope. I see people smile and say what a difference it is to be able to connect. When you listen to people’s stories, it makes people realise they are not alone – there are people there that want to listen and understand as much as we can, not going through the experience ourselves.”
To support our rurally-based HopeStreet teams, you can donate here.