Category Archives for Uncategorized

Carevan Blacktown at WEXPO 2023

Carevan Blacktown were afforded the honour of an invite to WEXPO 2023, held at the Blacktown Workers Club on 5th September 2023.

We joined many other exhibitors in promoting and exploring the activities of the local community, including some of our friends, neighbours and supporters – including Caroline Allen of the ACU Blacktown campus, who’s students attend Carevan Blacktown to volunteer as part of their community placement requirements, Merven Virueda from the Parramatta Community College, new friends and volunteers Gay and Kerry from Inner Wheel Blacktown, neighbour & local artist Danielle RG of ‘Stitches Collection’ and our wonderful friends & supporters of The Workers Lifestyle Group.

We chatted with many passers by and our CEO Andrew Scott was interviewed by the ABC for a grab of radio airing on radio national the following day.

A successful day of connection and networking with our wonderful community on which we rely so heavily.

There’s a little highlight of us on page 43

 

Homelessness Week 2023 “It’s time to end homelessness”

August 7 to Sunday August 13 ~ Homelessness Week 2023

“It’s time to end homelessness”.

For a week each year the community focuses on the multifaceted dilemma of homelessness and home insecurity~ seeking a solution ~ a resolution~ in this our ‘lucky country’.

For those for whom this precarious and vulnerable position is the reality of life, the week will stretch beyond the week and the solutions and resolutions are out of grasp.

Carevan Blacktown joined the Workers Lifestyle group for the recent CEO sleep out event – a cold and wet June night, giving us the briefest of glimpses into the uncertainty and insecurity of of “living” with homelessness – a state of being for so many, and a multifactorial and multi-faceted reality.

We had tents to sleep in and a mattress on the ground, a meal provided, entertainment and the surety of a warm shower, a bed, somewhere to brush our teeth and a home to go to the next day .. For those affected by homelessness this is not the case ~ no home and no security… no warm comforts to help them endure the nights or any reassurance about a meal or a safe place to sleep the next night.

There is much to be done .. and lots of discussion this week especially, about rising costs of living and housing availability and the fact that many people are struggling to meet the basics of life. Carevan helps where we we are able and we are open to all .. it’s a warm room, company and a bowl of sustenance plus a little extra goodie or two provided by our amazing community and the Carevan Blacktown family.

It’s a little bit …. but its not enough

The facts;

On any given night, 122,494 people in Australia are experiencing
homelessness (ABS Census 2021).

One in seven people experiencing homelessness are children under 12 (ABS Census 2021).

23 per cent of people experiencing homelessness (almost one in 4) are children and young people between 12 and 24 (ABS Census 2021).

One in five people experiencing homelessness are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people (ABS Census 2021).

Homelessness is not “rooflessness”. Only 6.2 per cent of people without a home are sleeping rough. The majority of homelessness is hidden – people in crisis accommodation, rooming houses, insecure housing,
overcrowded dwellings or couch surfing.

 

https://lnkd.in/g5SXwZV4

Blacktown Workers Lifestyle Group CEO Sleep out 2023

We came, We chilled & We (sorta) slept 

Thank You to the AMAZING Workers Club Lifestyle Group and all those who supported Carevan Blacktown through this fantastic event… What an extraordinary honour and what a super night.

Mother nature saw to it that we had the full experience of a winter’s night ~ the evening was (very) chill & wet, but that didn’t dampen spirits, as the Clubs’ CEO Morgan Stewart and his AMAZING team hosted a wonderful event, raising awareness of the plight of so many Aussies, for whom secure lodgings, a warm safe place to lay their heads, of even a roof above, is not a reality.

The Clubs’ awesome team guided Carevan through the past months of preparation, rounded up supporters and, on the evening, provided us all with a meal, jerseys, beanies, tents, and mattresses for all those who dressed up in multiple (x multiple) layers and came along to experience a night in the cold.

THANK YOU so very much, to all those who supported Carevan by donating towards the cause or towards a camper, for sharing the posts and to all those who rugged up and came along to sleep out AND of course to all those fantastic corporate sponsors who got behind the event.

Special mention to the awesome Sunil, our honorary volunteer & long-time supporter who raised the highest personal donation of the event & and who came along to sleep out ..or at least try to sleep.. until his tent flooded and he then spent the night sitting in the stands waiting for sunrise before heading off to work .. making the evening a very authentic experience!! A fluoro Green Carevan legend!!

Thank you to Emma Blackall & Simon Graham, Kay Kelly and members of the Blacktown Workers Lifestyle group board, to Stephen Bali MP, councillor Bob Fitzgerald OAM. To our regular club supporters Tina, Brett, Taya , John, Katelyn & ALL the fabulous workers club staff for this wonderful support and care.

BIG LOVE to the intrepid brigade of Carevan Blacktown volunteer campers on the night, Tracey, Kimbalee, Jasmine & Helen and all the Workers Club angels who came along for a night in the chill.

Finally & most especially to the two fantabulous CEOs ~ Morgan Stewart & Andrew Scott. CEOs who put their people, communities and missions above their own comfort and who work tirelessly to improve the lives of so many within our shared community … Thank you gentlemen, you are Chief Executives in deed and in action.

There are official photos on the way, but we wanted to start to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our humbled green heart, for this wonderful and once in a lifetime opportunity. This fantastic windfall will help Carevan Blacktown to continue its mission into the future ~ assisting those among us who need a little hand up by passing on the remarkable and unending care of the community which supports us.

 

CEO & CO SLEEP OUT 2023 FOR CAREVAN BLACKTOWN

 

This year, 2023, the Blacktown Workers’ Club annual CEO and CO Winter Sleep Out will be raising funds for US!! CAREVAN BLACKTOWN ❄️

We are beyond excited to have this AMAZING support and encourage all our followers & friends, families & colleagues, neighbours & affiliates ~ anyone and everyone… to support this super event.☃️

Our CEO ANDREW SCOTT will be joining the Worker’s Club community on the night, along with other members of the Carevan family⛺️to sleep out and experience, for just one night, the life of so many without a warm place to sleep or a secure roof over their heads.

Everyone is welcome to participate in whichever way you would like.. sleep out yourself or fund our CEO ❄️

JOIN us VIA the QR code (on the flier) and register / sign in to come along for the night OR simply donate towards this fantastic Blacktown Workers’ Club event on behalf Carevan Blacktown and all those who will benefit from your kindness and generosity ☃️

Any questions please reach out to Carevan on info@carevanblacktown.org.au or The Workers lifestyle group on community@workerslifestylegroup.com.au

Please see the flier attached. Scan and join in or support our CEO Andrew and Carevan Blacktown ❄️

And our HUGE thanks to the Blacktown Workers Club for their ongoing and generous support of Carevan in our mission to serve our shared community ????

From the silent observer

We have among us a silent observer. A gentle, kind and humble person in our patron ranks, of good humour and quiet assurance. This person does not jostle with the crowd but stands watchfully by and bides their time until a place in the line is made and they can join in, but the time is well spent or at least, not wasted, for they observe, seeing what most will not even notice.

These observations have been presented to us in a story told of, and about, Carevan Blacktown from the eyes.. or rather headlights .. of the old beloved and colourful van, and told as though the old vehicle were an old woman passing down a story of yesteryear

Carevan Blacktown: Reflections of the Old Lady

From the day Carevan Blacktown (Carevan B) was conceived, I knew its destiny and mine were bound to intersect. It therefore came as no surprise when Andrew sent for me.

With Lynne at the controls, I made the 650 kms journey from Albury to Sydney secure in the knowledge that a new era in Blacktown beckoned. It was never going to be uncharted waters and daunting, if only because I knew I would be in my element, doing what I love to do. Namely, helping to sow happiness into people’s lives, particularly the marginalised segment

of the Community facing existential crisis.

Old Lady Arrives in Sydney

I was born for this service. Squat in appearance with small feet relative to my size, I had a low centre of gravity and would negotiate sharp bends with full payload at no risk of toppling over. My costume was, by choice, Spartan: a military camouflaged raiment suited for trench warfare which is what our mission has been all about. To fight human misery,deprivation and even destitution.

I arrived at Carevan B in my dotage but, for my age, was sprightly and energetic till the end – thanks, in part, for the good care I received from Andrew and my other sons and daughters. They washed me when I was dirty and grimy. I never squeaked or creaked as others my age did. At the slightest hint of indisposition, I was sent to the Doctor’s for a check-up and treatment, when such was required.

But there is so much that Doctors can do. I progressively came out of my annual check-ups the poorer and poorer till, at last, I was pronounced unworthy of further annual leases of life. Consequently, in March 2019, I was retired and rode into the sunset.

Let it be noted that I am not dead yet, for, I have earned the stripes of virtual immortality. My obituary can wait.

Here, in my etheric abode, I am in a vantage position to see the panoramic trajectory of Carevan B – from where it burst on the horizon through the fledgling days to its present lusty state. Need I say my vista extends into the future which bodes well beyond what you can imagine. But I believe in the tyranny of the “now”.

I looked down from my eminence and see with joy indescribable how Carevan B has grown. When once we reached out to the needy from primarily 2 Departments that fed the hungry with meals, provisions and hampers, I now see loving care dispensed from multiple discrete Departments.

The original core Meals Department has itself metamorphosed into a grand structured unit under the superintendence of Kym with the gravitas that she possesses. She is ably assisted by the selfless and industrious Tracey, The team is rounded up by a bevy of dedicated volunteers who serve with radiant, unaffected smiles. They do justice to the adage he who gives with a smile gives twice.

A sidekick and offshoot to this Department is the Beverage and Refreshment corner which is primed to slake patrons’ thirst and assuage hunger for those who come in very hungry. That is, before they settle down and make the rounds.

Now, the Hamper. Closely allied with the Meals Department is the Hamper Department. I had a lot to do with this Department during my time of service.

 

page2image65494752

                                                                                   Old Lady at Parklea with Andrew

Supermarkets and shopping centres to fetch vegetables, fruits, provisions and other comestibles which patrons take home to tide them over, at least, a week. For good reason, this was, and still is, a very popular Department attracting long (but orderly) queues and is now often the first port of call for many. As a hallmark of Carevan B, volunteers with rident faces ply their volunteering craft at the hamper tables and, latterly, also from a hamper van. Were I around, I would no doubt have had my sphere of activity broadened to cover trips to ozHarvest, Foodbank and other charity supply points.

Next, I also note with glee the maturation of a Department of Clothing, Books and Personal Care. Like elsewhere in the Carevan B system, a team of adorable volunteers are at work here – under the leadership of Kimbalee, Bee and Debbie. If you are looking for the most technologically-driven Department, this is it. Orders are received and discharged digitally from a computer Notebook – wielded by Bea, a sight to behold!

Not least, I see a kind-hearted lady, Lynne, ploughing a lone furrow in the Barbering Department. People now come to Carevan B meetings to, not only sup and dine, among other things, but also go home spruiked, if they so wish. In my active days, there was none of this.

I watched on, with more than a little interest, how diligently Carevan B slogged through the fog of Covid-19 pandemic to serve the community, if peripatetically. Senior volunteers and the executive team selflessly risked lives to put themselves out, so the pandemic couldn’t derail the organisation’s sworn purpose. For such intrepid response to Covid, more grease to your elbows, Andrew and all.

The one manifestly defining metric which speaks volumes for the great strides made by Carevan B is the size of weekly patronage which has soared from some 30-50 people to 100- odd and counting. I am also most delighted to see attendance hit its zenith at Christmas, time of goodwill, when close to a staggering figure of 300-plus people are catered for.

The positive change in fortunes is partly attributable to the yeoman charitable service provided by the organisation post Covid and which is still gathering momentum at the rate of knots.

Nothing in the above account touches on the imponderables of Carevan B services. Meetings provide a place of fun and solace not only for the lonely, but also for all those who stand to benefit from sharing live experiences, both quotidian and lifelong. Through friendly interactions, useful lessons are learnt and the more endowed in certain facets of life can point others in the right direction as a problem-solving tool. I have also seen that when patrons congregate there is collegiality, amity not rancour, camaraderie not idle gossip. There is none of people talking out of turn about others. Such is the culture fostered by the leaders of Carevan B who also set store by maintaining basic standards of social decorum.

Talk of plenitude of services, Carevan B has all bases covered. Although fully secular in orientation, there is now a feature on the Organisation’s menu for those who need recourse to otherworldly methods of handling the curveballs of life. Thanks to ”Reverend ” Bruce, the beneficiaries of this service (conducted unobtrusively) render rave reviews about the life changing results of instructions received. For the record, Bruce’s ecclesiastic persona have him as the natural choice that plays Santa to the little faithful ones, come yuletide.

There is one thing I sorely miss. The frequent sorties to fund-raising events which invariably featured BBQ sessions. I am gladdened to see how volunteers now go about the task with mirth and jollity while helping to raise money to support a charitable cause. There is music and, I dare say, graceful dancing to beguile the time. Never a dull moment for the hard- working cast of volunteers that run the show, Fundraising may be fun but it is also a way to engage the community in the mission to rout misery and helplessness from its midst. Carevan B has gained traction in this regard. Now, to some credits.

The progress made by Carevan B wouldn’t be possible without the vision and leadership qualities of my son, CEO and founder, Andrew Scott. He is duly assisted by a lady whose attributes complement all that Carevan B stands for. Lady Caroline, my daughter.

There must be something in the executive echelons of the Red Cross. If there are two people in whom the virtues of sheer altruism and sound organisational nous unite with great effect, look not beyond Andrew and Caroline. They are an embodiment of, at once, self-denial and empathy. Souls who give their days and nights to a mission of selfless, self-forgetting service to humanity. They should be added to the Twelve.

I also wish to acknowledge the support provided to Carevan B by a motley array of corporate financiers, the local government, institutional and individual donors (of $$ and in kind), and, needless to say, a phalanx of volunteers drawn from all walks of life.

For lack of space and time, I must have inadvertently skated over names of conscientious and dedicated volunteering hands who deserve specific mention. I beg for forgiveness and pray that such ones take no umbrage at the omission. In the ripeness of time, I would get to them.

l have a small request to make. I came to Blacktown as a simple Old Lady, not exactly frumpish, but dressed in military camouflaged costume, in sharp contrast with the glitz and glamour of city life. My quaint appearance turned heads aiding the cause of advertising Carevan B. I do not wish to lose this attribute of simplicity. So, if a century and half from now, I and other icons in the City are given a permanent repose in a museum, I hereby write in my testament that I be dressed and presented, not in resplendent apparel, but in something after my old military fatigues. Emblazoned on my festoon should be the words

“Here stands a warrior who saw human suffering and helped to fight it”.

Finally, to my son Andrew. Few days after hoisting the Union Jack at the South Pole, Captain Scott, your forebear, penned this last line in his diary: “…for God’s sake, look after our people.” I fashion an allusion to seek that “For God’s sake, continue to look after your Community”. Goodbye, one and all.

Anonymous.

page5image65105904

Carevan’s littlest BIG Champion

“..the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more”
Jackson brown. Jr

Thank you to the lovely ladies of the Blacktown Macquarie Trefoil Guild who welcomed Carevan along this week to their chapter, for a cuppa and a chat about our work in the community, a community that the Trefoil Guild has supported for many, many more years than Carevan have been on the road. Carevan regularly receive donations from the guild, most particularly from Marion Hatchman, one of our lovely beanie knitters. The guild supports the community in all manner of ways through the Girl Guide network and community projects of work for Share the Dignity, Breast cancer, Westmead Children’s Hospital and many others, and we thank them most sincerely for their interest in Carevan’s work and for the generous donations of food and hygiene items, clothing and a monetary donation towards our meal service costs. It was a pleasure to meet with you all and have the care & attention of such an established and kind group of women. ????
Meanwhile in addition to our very busy Tuesday evening services, our own green brigade of community stars has been busy with extra-curricular Carevan activities ~ Bunnings BBQs, this weekend and last, and a tinned food collection. We rely heavily on our volunteers for all the tasks involved in running Carevan & we can’t thank you ALL enough. But, this week we want to make a special mention of thanks to our youngest, most engaging, and probably most enthusiastic volunteer ever, Harrison … Super keen to participate in the non-service activities like the tin food collections, Harrison pulled on the High Viz Carevan vest yesterday and joined us at The Ponds shopping centre to charm the community into caring a little more one tin or 10 at a time ????
Hosted by the Blacktown Ponds Lions’ Club, Carevan attended a tinned food donations at the Pond shopping centre, an important activity that helps fill the hampers of pantry staples which we send home each week with our patrons. The tinned food collections are long days, but that didn’t worry Harrison ( he wanted to stay all day) Shining his unbridled enthusiasm & sunshine on every customer walking by, he charmed a lot of extra tins, bickies & cereal out of the very generous shoppers, many of whom might otherwise have wandered past or hurried by getting their shopping over with … one lady told us she would normally just donate a can or two but simply couldn’t resist him and gave us three bags full! Thank you lovely boy for bringing your joy and company to the simple task of handing out a pamphlet and the slightly bigger one of showing others you care through your actions … you are most certainly the star volunteer for the week. ????
Our support comes in all shapes and sizes, from long established groups like the Guild and the Lions’ clubs to the young volunteers of the future … we are thankful to you all

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'