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Idling

We are not idle,

Though the van is sat waiting to be back on the Carevan road, our team are working behind the scenes as we look forward to opening up as soon as restrictions allow 🔑

We continue to make weekly contactless delivery of hampers to members of the community who are most in need of this ongoing support. Andrew and Kimbalee take these to a number of locations for contactless delivery each Tuesday evening and numbers are growing with new requests each week.
This work is made possible by our awesome friends at OzHarvest💚 They have received some much deserved funding for this amazing hamper program which will enable it to continue to the end of the year … the flow on effect of this great news is that we are fortunate enough to continue as one of the many lucky recipients of these bags of goodness. 🧺
Heartfelt gratitude to Renzo, Alan and Diego, and all the amazing OzHarvest team of course, who make these hampers happen each week. This program is the backbone of the work we are able to do at the moment while COVID continues on, but it is also an inspirational program worthy of attention at any time and certainly worthy of funding! Our thanks for the amazing work they do for the Carevan community and many, many others and also because these are some of the nicest people you will ever hope to meet. If you haven’t already, take a look at the OzHarvest website and the wonderful work they are doing.
Huge THANKS to Kevin and Scotty 😎 from the Blacktown Council staff, who have taken on the weekly collection of the hampers on our behalf. We simply cannot thank you and the team enough for taking on this important task, this assistance is invaluable and enables us to access this important resource during the lockdown. It is essential work and we are not sure we could get it done without you … 🎉
Thanks also for the stalwart and ever-present support in the form of the council’s Deputy Mayor and our friend, Julie Griffiths.💚 Julie, your approachable, enthusiastic and effervescent support for all things ‘Carevan Blacktown’, is beyond fantastic 🎉… nothing is too big or too small a question to ask and your support towards a grant to help our Christmas plans is like Santa has delivered already… You are FANTASTIC 👏
And speaking of gifts, we have made some new friends and connections along the COVID way and none lovelier than Hamish (and mum Melissa) who have come aboard the Carevan Bus. Hamish is a keen prospective volunteer but is a smidge too young as yet, but that hasn’t deterred him and he decided to donate money towards our work which will go to adding bread and milk to the weekly hampers we are delivering. Thank YOU, Hamish, … you are a rock star … and huge luck in the HSC 💚
We have been contacted throughout lockdown by our regular supporters and new ones, checking in and offering a helping hand. Roger at St Vincent De Paul, John from the Lion’s Club, the amazing Blacktown Kildare Mason’s Edgar and Dr Raul and our friend Sunil… And all the lovely people, like the amazing knitting machine Anne Marie, working away on scarves and warm things to keep the chill away with some home-made care… It’s super to know we have such support, always. 💚
And finally Happy Birthday to our very own Santa Bruce … you don’t look a day over 21… must be the cold weather. Big birthday LOVE to you from the Carevan family.  🎂🥂🎉

Homelessness Week 2021

As Homelessness week comes to a close we recognise that for those experiencing this plight, the problem will not be closed out or be resolved with the passing of a week or because of the short burst of attention… this is an ongoing issue and demands attention and care all year long.

There are sobering facts contained within these links and web pages and they are worth the listen or read because “Everybody Needs a Home”

“Homelessness is not a choice. Homelessness is one of the most potent examples of disadvantage in the community, and one of the most important markers of social exclusion.” (Department of Human Services, 2002).

Home

Report: Social housing keeps women safe from family violence, expands economy

Homelessness Week 2021 Webinar – YouTube

Homelessness Statistics Australia | The Salvation Army Australia

And from the wonderful Pastor Jon Owen at the Wayside Chapel with the “Voices from the streets” live panel discussion, during Homelessness Week

https://www.facebook.com/thewaysidechapel/videos/789365191759154

COVID Lockdown 2021

Tuesday evening services at Lalor Park Community Hall are now suspended due to lockdown 😞
Carevan Blacktown regrets to advise that, due to the resurgence of COVID 19 and the expansion of the current lockdown to include greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, we will not be running our Tuesday evening services until the lockdown ends and the restrictions are lifted.
We take this decision with a heavy heart but we must adhere to and comply with the government regulations and our priority is to do this and to ensure the health and wellbeing of the Carevan family and community.
We will be back as soon as we are permitted to do so.
We are, in the meantime, delivering hampers provided to us by our wonderful friends at OzHArvest, to those of our Carevan community most in need of this support and we will continue to keep in touch with these folks to support them through these difficult weeks.

Support

 

Supported by an amazing community and underpinned by a dynamic team of volunteers, Carevan Blacktown has many people by our side, supporting our mission to support in turn those most vulnerable among us.

Thanks, to Sunil Manilal and his colleagues for the winter warmth donations and to Kids Early Learning, with a winter drive to collect winter items well underway. These two groups approached Carevan well before the winter chill set in and began to organise collections and drives among their own groups, colleagues, families and contacts to support those in need before we have said one word in appeal and we are hugely grateful. Supporting Carevan’s annual winter blanket appeal is as easy as a single blanket donation and we will post an appeal, but this kind of forward-thinking and generosity has ensured warmth in spirit and reality for the season.

We are eternally grateful to the organisations who support us throughout the year directly or indirectly such as Daily Fresh who donate towards Norwest’s cooking program or give Carevan other opportunities, like Bunnings BBQs at Rouse Hill, which is an important fundraising event and enables a degree of financial independence, we raised funds that will support food purchase, consumables and keep Carevan doing its thing.

Support from family, friends and team members in collecting, delivering and putting together meals, food, hampers and all the weekly logistics that bring together our Tuesday evenings, every BBQ or Carevan event.  Unfailing support from the top in our tireless CEO Andrew, present every Tuesday evening, along with our dedicated committee members, who also perform multiple other tasks throughout the week to bring each Tuesday together.

It goes without saying of course, that Carevan functions on the support of our fabulous team of volunteers, who give of their time every month and are the very essence of community support and care which underpins Carevan’s service. We are always in need of volunteers to add numbers and heart, make light work of a multitude of tasks and keep the wheels turning and if this sounds like the sort of activity and team you’d like to add your support to then reach out via email or Facebook messenger, we’d LOVE to hear from you.

AND finally in a note of farewell and thanks for long-term support and dedication through the leadership to Lynne Wood. A founding member, team lead and friend of Carevan, Lynne has resigned her Carevan commission this week after 10 years in a (now faded) fluoro green leadership … Lynne will be missed, her work and contribution in establishing Carevan in Blacktown, kicking it all off in our old colourful Carevan van (which she drove up from Albury) is immeasurable and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts for all the years of service, countless meals, cups of coffee and care  … we hope to see her back for a cuppa with the Carevan community as a member of the family, this time with her feet up.

Thank you all for the support

(photo of Lynne and the Van on their arrival in Sydney)

 

A bountiful OzHarvest

Carevan Blacktown is overjoyed to report that we have become one of the many charities supported by the amazing organisation that is OzHarvest.

OzHarvest’s mission to “Nourish our Country by stopping good food from going to waste and delivering it to charities that help feed people in need” see’s this inspirational group gathering, cooking and distributing meals, pantry items, fresh food and veg to those most in need of this care and to charities, such as Carevan Blacktown.

Our part in this wonderful new collaboration is to do what we do best, and distribute these black and gold hampers of goodness and nutrition to the Carevan community who visit us each week for a meal, a cuppa and some extra kindness to support and nurture our most vulnerable community members.

We are enormously grateful to have been added to the OzHarvest family of recipients and cannot thank this inspirational, hardworking (and happy) team enough for their work in setting up this collaboration with Carevan Blacktown.

We look forward to working together with Ozharvest into the future and making things a little bit brighter still every week for those who visit Carevan Blacktown.

Visit the OzHarvest website to find out more about this ‘golden’ organisation and the wonderful work they do across the country and now supporting the Carevan and the community we serve.

Thank you so very much

https://www.ozharvest.org

https://www.ozharvest.org/who-we-are/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting the Airwaves

Our CEO Andrew, hit the airwaves yesterday with Anne and Julie from Radio Alive 90.5FM.
 
We were lucky enough to be invited by the Radio’s afternoon team Anne and Julie, who host the “Pick and Mix” segment, to talk about Carevan Blacktown and what we do.
 
We are very grateful to have had this opportunity to spread the word a little about Carevan’s work, within the local community; a fabulous and caring community which, as we so often say, we simply could not do without and within which, there is always someone in need.
 
Thanks so much to Anne and Julie and the team at 90.5FM for the lovely chat and for granting Carevan Blacktown this opportunity, what a lovely way to create a little local publicity.
 
You can listen in to Anne and Julies segment and their chat with Andrew, if you’d like to listen to the interview, at the link below, which should (hopefully) take you to the podcast from the afternoon.
https://www.alive905.com.au/series/pick-n-mix/?fbclid=IwAR3tDqyzqvYeYvgtaAHe9BDrAK1DexOO9E2CEeXTVUR781CIzuTSnITXpHY
 
https://www.alive905.com.au/series/pick-n-mix/?fbclid=IwAR3tDqyzqvYeYvgtaAHe9BDrAK1DexOO9E2CEeXTVUR781CIzuTSnITXpHY

Bunnings, Volunteers and changing the world …

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

Over the last couple of weeks, Carevan Blacktown has had the wonderful opportunity to hold 2 Bunnings BBQs. This sizzling support is a much-loved Bunnings tradition and vital for many charitable organisations, including our little charity. It’s great to be able to do them again and we are HUGELY appreciative of the opportunity given us by Rouse Hill Bunnings, to raise some much need funds in this fun and interactive way.

Carevan called upon our sparkling, dancing, dedicated, hard-working and truly generous volunteers and supporters, at short notice, and were able to put together these two events with plenty of willing hands and generous donations of food enabling us to run two successful days … including today, Valentine’s day when the word LOVE and all variations sentiment, was all about… even in the Bunnings car park… and was at the heart of the amazing work our Carevan Family achieves

We had singing … some dancing … lots of sausages and LOVEly onions …and a whole lot of goodwill and care, put into action… more than just a red hearted card … our people came out to BE the CARE in Carevan.

Without our volunteers, we could not conduct meal services and our mission would be just a nice idea… our volunteers are AWESOME and on weeks like the past two, that’s never more obvious.

Huge Valentine’s LOVE to our BBQ volunteers Kym, KimBAlee, Tracey, Andrew, Taylor, Joel, Karenza, Annie and Stewart, Bruce, Jade, Daniel, Karen and Paul and Liam.. And to all our amazing team of volunteers who support Carevan week in and week out

Huge red virtual Roses to Naomi, Shahereen, Norwest Sunrise Rotary and Lions club for the donations of food… we cooked it up and served it with the extra dash of kindness that your donations bring!

Extra special shout out to our ‘protein/ bakery manager’ Tracey for work behind the scenes, for Kym who left today’s shindig to go home and make meals for Tuesday evening, to Taylor for the Technical support and for KimBAlee for the signs (and her dad) for the blackboard of LOVE … all the extra Carevan condiments that make it all so delicious!

Also, in our normal non-BBQ-ing world of Tuesday evening this week… a big beautiful bouquet to the Lalor Park Community Hub Markets, for their generous donation to Carevan and to Glaiza and Shahereen for their amazing kindness and generous donations… and to Glenda, Marlene and Daniel (and Oscar) for the delivery of clothing … we are truly, truly grateful ..

Finally, a big HUG (socially distanced of course) to Tina, Georgina and Tianna who gave up their evening to help with Tuesday’s service, managing clothing distribution like old hands. We cannot thank you all enough!

We are blessed by support in all forms and fashions and as Margaret Mead said ..we have No doubt this group of committed citizens can change the world.. or at least our little bit of it

Happy Valentine’s day AMAZING people

Australia Day Awards 2021

Awesome Australia Day Tuesday 26th January 2021
Carevan began a terrifically HOT Australia Day Tuesday, at the Blacktown City Council’s Australia Day Awards. We were the very proud nominees in the category of “Community Event of the Year” and we couldn’t be more grateful for the accolade and kind attention … We are also very thankful to the lovely person or persons who nominated us for this honour… we don’t know who you are but we are humbled by your nomination.. THANKS 😘
We were surrounded by inspirational people and organisations, their families and supporters, people who are the essence of community. These active members of the Blacktown Local area demonstrate the Australian spirit of care for our fellow countrymen and women, most particularly our most vulnerable persons, every day and it was lovely to be counted among them.
Lots of wonderful initiatives and programs were recognised from across all aspects of the community; health and social support for disadvantaged residents, volunteers caring for our wildlife and environment, young community leaders reaching out to care for their struggling peers and many other worthwhile and inspirational works besides.
It was a great honour to have been selected as finalists and for a small number of us to be able to attend the day, representing the Carevan Blacktown team for the special occasion 💫
Congratulations to the worthy winners of our category, the Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre 🏆 and to the other recipients and winners of the day’s awards, most especially to the Citizen of the Year, Ron Kelly – a long-time volunteer with the amazing organisation Foodbank, on which Carevan relies so heavily for food and supplies for our own Tuesday evening services.
Congrats 🏆 too to the other nominees in all categories and those individuals and groups who may not have won or been present on the day, but who’s toil and efforts, makes things a little brighter for others every day of the year ⭐️
Read about the other recipients, their work and quiet achievements on behalf of others, as recognised on Australia Day https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/…/Blacktown-City…
Thanks to the Council for its enormous support of these and so many other community endeavours, including our own… such encouragement is invaluable in orchestrating and achieving community-based activities and goals and we are very thankful for it.
Following the award ceremony, the Carevan team threw on their fluoro green T-shirts and got to work on our Tuesday evening service – back to Carevan business as usual, but with an Aussie BBQ twist. We served up BBQ sausages with egg, bacon and coleslaw on a very hot summer evening to round out a great day…
Thank you to our wonderful local community and beyond, for the generous donations of clothing and books for this week as with every week and to our wonderful Volunteers ⭐️ who are the engine inside the CareVAN!
And while on the subject of Australia Day, special  THANKS  to team lead Andrew Scott, CEO and last year’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year, upon whom has rested the responsibility of steering Carevan through a most extraordinary year.
It was a hot, hectic and rewarding day .. Good to be ( Carevan Blacktown ) Aussies 🚐

Carevan kicks Off for 2021

Carevan kicked off 2021 with our first evening get together for the year on Tuesday this week, welcoming back many of our regular family; guests, volunteers and amazing community members, at the Lalor Park Community centre, all masked up and COVID safe and back to service for another year.
We served up delicious meals kindly donated to Carevan by OzHArvest, through a joint venture with the Tyndale Christian school, as well as our regular lovely meals from Norwest and two scrumptious Fritattas made from the eggs of our feathered friends, the chooks at Merryn, Brenda, Piper and MacKenzie’s place. 🥚🐥
OzHarvest is an amazing and inspirational organisation and it was such a pleasure (not to mention great luck!) to have had this opportunity to be associated with them. Thank you, Shannon, Dahnu and Talez and the whole OzHArvest group for your amazing work in the community at large and for our Tuesday evening meals, helping us put together our first service for the year… 💚
And huge thanks to Tyndale’s team for nominating Carevan as the recipient of this donation 💚
As always, our own Kitchen queens Kimbalee, Kym and Tracey were hard at work heating, serving and coordinating meals and dessert 🧁donated by Hunter Hampers, while our amazing volunteers, Joel, Jade, Kendall, Bruce and Andrew got busy with hall set up, packing up hampers with the goodies from Foodbank … And big Thanks too, to Shahereen, visiting us for the first time to bestow upon us a generous donation, we set her to work, putting her through her paces but still smiling at the end.
And kicking off with HUGE community support and care, our enormous THANKS to the generous community STARS Amy, Kerry, Vic, Daniel and Tina who arrived with donations of clothing, toys, school and hygiene supplies, takeaway containers and much more for the community donation tables… such support is the backbone of our service and we can’t thank you all enough. 💚
A special delivery too of chocolatey goodness by way of a bulk donation of MILO in a very BIG bag and loads of teeny tiny hot chocolate marshmallows from the Blacktown Kildare Masonic Lodge… THANK YOU 🍫
…and to Glaiza for her unending generosity and quiet support through the Christmas break… xx
We will hold a Volunteer training evening in Mid-February for anyone interested in volunteering with us on a Tuesday evening. Details will be posted once the date is confirmed.
Or if you are interested in helping out with our food pick-ups rather than the evening meal services, please get in touch with us on 0427 457 030 or email [email protected] we’d love to chat with you
          
Thanks to you all … Happiness and health to all for the new Carevan year