Keiran Kevans, Coordinator, Glebe Youth Service, Bulletin 3/2022, May 2022

Thanks to the generosity of the Glebe Society donations last year, the Glebe Youth Service was able to provide food relief to many families in need in Glebe through 2021. Glebe Youth Service (GYS) is a not-for-profit charity committed to supporting young people reach their potential, achieve their goals and contribute positively to their community and have been supporting the community for 30 years.

Through COVID-19 and lock down restrictions, Glebe youth and their families experienced significant challenges. GYS was in a position, with your support, to help them in new and much-needed practical ways. The 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns were significantly different from 2020. In addition to the increases in cases and numbers isolating we were seeing whole family networks needing to isolate simultaneously, meaning that families were unable to utilise their own support networks during their isolating or infectious period.

The food drive at Broadway Shopping Centre. Glebe Society Members collected the donations and ferried them to GYS (photo: Phil Vergison)

GYS pivoted to introduce a variety of food relief programs to support families and ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and the community. This range of food relief services included food hampers and cooked meals, essential shop and drop program and Coles e-gift cards.

GYS operated as a home delivery service, providing families with cooked meals from Plate It Forward alongside Foodbank dry goods hampers. In addition, GYS introduced the ‘Essential Shop and Drop’ program for COVID-19 positive or isolating households. Through this program, a dedicated GYS worker would receive a shopping list of essential items for a positive or isolating household, then conduct the shop and drop it off at the household following a stringent COVID-19 risk assessment and safety plan. Understanding the importance of connection and keeping occupied during these times, we provided activity packs for children and the provision of phone credit and any necessary technology. We continue to provide this service as the pandemic also continues. All phones were obtained through the Reconnect Project, an organisation that refurbishes old mobile phones.

Coles e-gift cards continue to be provided to families for the purposes of one-off emergency relief, alongside miscellaneous vouchers as they become available to us.

Because of existing community partnerships and connections, GYS was able to maximise the diversity and reach of the food relief programs. GYS partnered with other local services and businesses including Living Hope Community Church, Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre, Addison Road Community Organisation, and Broadway Shopping Centre to ensure adequate provision and diversity of food security services to the Glebe community.

This practical and important service was made possible because of the generosity of the Glebe Society donations last year. From everyone at Glebe Youth Service and from the families of Glebe, Thank You!

Thank you, Glebe Society, for help us make a difference to the lives of so many.