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Carevan Blacktown 2023

We have swung wide the doors of the Lalor Park Community Centre and welcomed our Carevan family and friends back to the communal tables for 2023,  another year of community connection and care through the simple act of sharing a meal… not to mention clothing, hampers, company and so much more ?
Thank you to all our fluoro green angels in the Carevan, school and home kitchens and to those on the stage and behind the scenes… You ALL make the evenings come together and enable Carevan to pick up seamlessly where we left off in 2022 and we thank you most humbly for your AMAZING care and hard work.
Carevan are simply short-term custodians of the gifts, produce, food, clothing and all manner of items that are passed to us to hand on to people in need and we value this trust most highly and thank our generous and kind community for your care and support.. We have been blessed with the most wonderful donations at the end of 2022, which were packed and wrapped and distrbuted at Christmas and will also see us supporting our Carevan family into the new year too and we are very grateful.
Thank you to our volunteer superstar team for the first night out.. never missed a beat … we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Lalor Park across the next few weeks. ?

Carevan Blacktown THANK YOU ALL

Carevan Blacktown Christmas

May be an image of text that says 'CAREVAN. BLACKTOWNS Christmas CELUBRATION Tuesday, December 20th 2022 Lalor Park Community Hall 1 Freeman St, Lalor Park Doors Open 6pm Meal Service 6:30 & Santa 7:45 Hamn Carevan Blacktown'

Carevan Blacktown THANK YOU ALL


When there are no words to express our enormous gratitude… but we will give it a shot …

We overwhelmed by the amazing community generosity and support shown to Carevan Blacktown and by extension the people we care for, this week… as every week.

So many incredibly generous and kind offers of help and donations coming in as Christmas approaches. Individuals and local communities coming together and collecting tinned food and hamper items for the season ahead… regular allies and supporters and new friends reaching out to us to help others.. we are blessed indeed.

This week we received a huge donation from the Castle Hill Public school community who donated more than an incredible 51 crates (and there’s more in bags and boxes) of tinned food and pantry items. The pictures speak a thousand words really … we had to go a long way back and resort to the panoramic shots to capture it all.

Thank you to our volunteer and Castle Hill teacher Sue, whose lovely initiative this was, and enormous thanks to Jacinda who coordinated it all and then did a weightlifting work out too, with her colleagues and fellow teachers Pip and Libby, helping us load up the van and 3 cars filled to the brim with goodies.

Thanks to the many teachers who put this small miracle together, with an efficiency and precision that would put a Swiss clock maker to shame and huge thanks to the school community at large for this generosity and kindness .. We are overwhelmed by the donation and touched by the collaboration and work done on our behalf .. and can never thank you enough … suffice to say though, that this food will help to support the many, many empty pantries and struggling budgets of those we serve, for months to come, and our gratitude is boundless.

We also had a collection coordinated by another lovely Carevan volunteer ( aren’t they all!)  Geetika and the community of family and friends of Just For Kids, Epping. This little centre has donated cans and food items and is equally as fantastic and kind for its BIG heart and generous donation of 4 big boxes .. decorated especially for Carevan by the kids.

This sort of school and childcare activity is, as we’ve said before, especially heart-warming.  Engendering in our children and next generations, a sense of social justice & this kind of compassion and care for people among us who are struggling, is an invaluable thing and charities such as our rely on it always.

We CANNOT do what we do without the community’s awareness and support, and we thank you from the bottom of our tin canned hearts

Carevan Blacktown on the Silver Screen

Carevan Blacktown recently welcomed Oliver and Maria from NXTCreative along to an evening out at Lalor Park, to help us put together a little video of what it is we do at Carevan Blacktown (the link is below)
The videos’ purpose is to give a little insight into our evenings, “show” people the impact we have and to thank those amazing organisations and individuals who support our endeavours; from a knitted beanie, a cooked meal, a volunteering or fundraising event through to grants and funding for the necessities of achieving our mission.
We are hugely grateful to each and every one and many of these wonderful groups and people never see what we do or how our work, on their behalf, helps the community.
We are the sum of all our parts of course and there are many, many, many people, volunteers, supporters and others who keep the Carevan wheels turning each and every week, most are not in this one (first) view into a Carevan Blacktown evening.. it’s impossible to capture it all in one video, but the spirit is present and the message is clear.. The Carevan Blacktown community is a special one and this is just a tiny glimpse into our work, mission and efforts to care for our community.
We hope to do more of these in the future (Oliver and Maria .. look out!) and capture yet more of our amazing Carevan family adventures, but for now we would love to share this awesome video ..
Stay tuned for the sequel “Carevan Blacktown ..Still Caring” and maybe even the “Xmas special”
Feel free to copy and share..
Humongous fluoro green thanks to Oliver and Maria.. you are fabulous and we cant recommend you more highly.

Carevan Blacktown; Homelessness Week 2022

Homelessness week 2022 ?
Homelessness Australia uses the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) statistical definition of homelessness.
“When a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives they are considered homeless if their current living arrangement is in a dwelling that is inadequate; or has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable; or does not allow them to have control of, and access to, space for social relations”
The ABS definition of homelessness is informed by an understanding of homelessness as ‘home’lessness, not ‘roof’lessness.
It emphasises the core elements of ‘home’ in Anglo-American and European interpretations of the meaning of home… These elements may include a sense of security, stability, privacy, safety, and the ability to control living space.
Homelessness is therefore a lack of one or more of the elements that represent ‘home’.
In Australia, there are over 116,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. ?

Why do people experience homelessness?

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare;
Homelessness can be the result of many social, economic and health–related factors. Individual factors, such as low educational attainment, whether someone is working, experience of family and domestic violence, ill health (including mental health issues) and disability, trauma, and substance misuse may make a person more at risk of becoming homeless (Fitzpatrick et al. 2013). Structural factors, including lack of adequate income and limited access to affordable and available housing, also contribute to risk of homelessness (Johnson et al. 2015; Wood et al. 2015).
Organisations such as the Salvation Army and the Smith Family are critical and important services for people experiencing homelessness and the issues that can lead to this.
Carevan Blacktown works locally to serve all who attend, no matter the reason. Many of our community experience the issues that can lead to homelessness and rooflessness, living week to week with this reality and in a cycle of poverty and disadvantage. People seek out services such as ours to access meals, food, clothing and other resources to assist short or long term.
We work in collaboration with our amazing community and with its tremendous support, to provide care, connection and practical assistance, but we are not the solution

Carevan Blacktown; Winter Wonderful 2022

We are the very humble recipients this week of blankets and warm clothing gathered over the past few months, by the Kids Early Learning group. The child care centres which operate under this banner, and the families they care for, have donated two van loads of warmth and love and we are honoured by their having chosen Carevan for this enormous generosity. It is especially precious when it is coming from a place of learning and teaching our children by example, about community care and looking out for each other, sharing resources, and seeing that no one is left behind or wanting.
Another kind gentleman who donated funds and household goods last week, sent a message in which he told us that he was trying to instil in his own children this same sense of care for the community and most particularly, those in need. In the text message received, he wrote this lovely saying “when you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence” which is our very objective at Carevan, as we pass on the kindness we are shown by so many.
We have received this week, and over the past few weeks in fact, so many individual donations of food, clothing, blankets and household items. Hand-knitted warmth, newly purchased and preloved goods, a financial donation to purchase blankets for our 2022 winter season and so much more… there simply arent enough ways to say thank you, but we do and are incredibly grateful for every little bit of it… right down to acknowledging the kind store manager who used her own personal discount card to maximise the donated funds used to purchase blankets today… a little anonymous gesture of kindness that warms the heart and bodies of one or two more lucky recipients.
Enormous gratitude and thanks to ALL our generous donors, to the AMAZING Kids Early Learning centres and their families (& most especially Nicole and Pushpa for the inspiration and coordinating this wonderous feat)
Thanks to the fabulous Dom at Bunnings for your gentle, generous spirit in assisting with the recent BBQ’s bottom line, but just as importantly the little bags of blankets, socks, clothing and food that are so lovingly put together by yourself in your own individual work and contribution.
Big warm hugs to our own Carevan team who have collected, sorted, folded, and organised this treasure trove over this very wet and cold winter, as though Mother Nature needed to make a point of how very necessary and timely this work and care is.
All this tangible love extends our ‘Carevan communal table’ from the hall’s stage to the kitchen cooking team’s bounty and out the open doors, winding its way through homes and to families and folks in need, bringing comfort and care to so many.
Thanks to all, as with every week, every call, every dish, every thought, every article of warmth and care counts and adds a warm seat and a plate at our table.
Thank YOU

Carevan Blacktown; Winter’s warmth

It’s cold ? outside, the heating is turned up, the blankets are out and ugg boots are on …
It’s hard to believe that just two years ago we were out in the car park serving up meals … a cold, windy memory now and so very glad to be in the generous warmth of the community hall, in the shelter this offers and under the radiator heat!
We usually run a blanket appeal at this time of year, but such is the generosity of our supporters that this has been taken care of for 2022 and we’ve barely had to get out the knitting needles …
The Kids Early Learning Child Care community has been busy running a Winter Appeal over the past month or so, amongst their amazing community and on behalf of Carevan, and we are excited to bring this generous donation to the Carevan stage in the next few weeks, as part of the winter’s warmth appeal… and across town our supporter Sunil and his colleagues have raised money and donated blankets to the winter’s cause…
And of course, all our community’s many warm-hearted individuals donating warm clothing, bedding and busy knitting lots of beeeeeutiful pom pom adorned beanies, scarves and throws.. all of which help to warm hearth and home and enable Carevan to deliver some much-needed support at this chilly time of the year.
If you’d like to contribute a blanket or some warm items this winter, to help keep our Carevan family warm and well, please get in touch. As with our previous winter appeals, we ask only for a single new blanket (around $25) or perhaps a preloved blanket … (in good condition please … the cold blows in through holes). Keeping warm is an expensive business and we are grateful for all kind and cosy contributions.
Speaking of community support, our friends at the Blacktown Workers Club will be hosting a CEO sleep-out this Thursday night 23rd. If you’re interested in supporting this event which will, in turn, support The Blacktown Women’s and Girls Health centre (and assist their work with women and children facing homelessness) please follow the link. We are all supporting a common goal at the end of the (cold) night and applaud the team for getting out to face a night in the cold chill, as so many less fortunate do, without an option or warm home to return to.
Get in touch via messenger or

Carevan Blacktown; Kindness in a Box

Carevan is the recipient of care and support from many different areas of our community, always. We are, as often said, simply the conduit between a kind community and those in need of its care. This support comes in person or from simply being part of a generous social network.

As mentioned in previous postings, we’ve been the very grateful recipient of boxes of fruit and veg from the local Box Divvys over the years, and thought we’d shine a little light on this super initiative and the aptly named “Kindness Box” which Box Divvy Hubsters and their members donate to the community and to the Carevan family.

Box Divvy’s mission began with a couple of farmers in 2019 on the mid north coast who, working with Western Sydney Diabetes Alliance and NSW Health, sought to “provide quality food, pay farmers fairly and make fresh food available at extraordinary prices.”

By connecting families to local producers, backyard growers, wholesalers from nearby and some from farther afield, Box Divvy facilitates ‘hyper-efficient’ access to nutritious seasonal fruit and veg, making healthy eating affordable and accessible, creating and supporting community connections using environmental and sustainable change to benefit all.

Carevan are not directly involved in the Box Divvy program as such, but have become the fortunate recipients of its community focus and broader care, through a lovely by-product called the ‘Kindness Box.’

The local Hubsters, Zoe at Lalor Park and Raquel at Quakers Hill and their community, generously donate towards the ‘Kindness Boxes’,  fruit and veg, eggs and other nuggets of fresh goodness which the Carevan Kitchen team to use in cooking up meals, while Bella Vista’s Hubster Flavia, and her network deliver (via our own lovely Carevan volunteer, Sue) a ‘Kindness Box’ direct to a Carevan family household in need of this nutritious bounty.

A ‘Kindness Box’ is filled with produce not required or excess, but never wasted, or simply donated intentionally by generous community members, for the express purpose of offering this onwards to the community beyond the program’s members, in a lovely anonymous gesture of contribution for others’ wellbeing.

Box Divvy is a wonderful initiative, the boxes are bursting with colourful goodness and nutrition and speak to its mission of promoting wellbeing in others and self, sustainable care for community and more broadly the planet, and we are hugely grateful to be chosen for these boxes chock full of the Kindness they are named for.

If you’d like to explore this program further for your own family, links are below or just take a look at the vibrant pics of these mini treasure chests.

Meanwhile THANK YOU Box Divvy and all your members for your generosity and support of Carevan’s communal table.

Zoe – Lalor Park

Raquel – Quakers Hill

Flavia – Bella Vista

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