Communities at Work has always been driven by a deep commitment to serve and uplift our community, and 2022-23 has been no different. In fact, the challenges we faced have only served to reinforce our dedication to our mission and the people we serve.
We invite you to join us on our journey of reflecting on the year that has been, celebrating the wins and appreciating the hard work of everyone in the organisation and the broader community who pulled together through the past year.
Key Highlights from Annual Report 2022-23
Some Stories from our Annual Report 2022-2023
How we’ve made an impact
It is the extraordinary efforts of our staff and volunteers that have allowed us to enrich the lives of the community we serve. Their willingness to go the extra mile is what truly distinguishes Communities at Work. We’d like to share a few of the many stories from our annual report of how they’ve made an impact to people’s lives.
Providing a safe haven to children…
“I will never forget what your centre meant to my family and my children, and the lengths your team went to, to show just how much you cared. Beyond just educating my children, you provided a safe haven for us all (in different ways) to continue healing.”
You played a pivotal role in our family’s and our children’s journey. We were always greeted by a warm smile, an extra hand, a kind gesture, comforting hugs of reassurance, a phone call to check in, an email to confirm subsidised day care funding, and a hamper at Christmas.
Your patient, loving and caring teachers took the greatest of care to help my children feel calm, safe, and empowered to work through their big feelings at times.
Thanks for your willingness to collaborate and partner with me as we helped find solutions for my children.”
(Parent of two children who attended the Children’s Services Program at our centre)
Helping Justy Achieve Her Dream
Justy, a client in our Disability Day Program, loves going to the pool and floating in the water. It’s fun and great therapy. But she’s in a wheelchair full-time so struggles to find people to take her.
When she shared her love of swimming with our Life Skill educators, they were keen to support Justy with her goal. They connected with her family and collaboratively organised a plan.
They now take Justy and her Day Program peers to the pool regularly, helping her access the water using a wheelchair and pool noodles. These visits allow her to practice swimming and exercise with her peers.
Justy is absolutely delighted to see her dream come true. ‘I really enjoy the exercises and love practicing my swimming. It’s really good for me,’ she beamed. Based on the laughter and conversation from the group at the end of each pool visit, it’s good for them all.
The pool excursions also allow Justy and her peers to practice their road safety awareness skills. The group either travel in our van, practicing safe vehicle travel, or enjoy the outdoors and walk to the pool, practicing how to navigate from one place to another safely.
Single Mum Tops Year 12
When Georgia had her daughter at the start of Year 12 it was extremely hard to concentrate on her studies. As a single mum, living off government payments, life was full of daily stresses.
‘One of the huge concerns I had about attending college was how I was going to tackle both parenting and study,’ Georgia said.
Galilee School welcomed Georgia and organised for her daughter to attend our Taylor Child Care and Education Centre, where she thrived and had fun.
‘Galilee School wasn’t equipped to deal with parents as students, but they facilitated it without any discrimination or judgement. They believed in me – in all of us. They helped me with things other schools never would.
‘I wouldn’t have gotten through without Galilee School,’ Georgia says. ‘It’s pretty amazing. They helped me with a formal dress [through our Best Dressed Store] and fed us every day at school [through our community pantry].’
Georgia was part of the school’s first Year 12 graduating class and, despite her life challenges, achieved Galilee School’s highest academic award. She now enjoys opportunities that were beyond her grasp had she been left to struggle on her own. She leaves our school community with an immense sense of gratitude and pride in her accomplishments.
‘It’s been really awesome! I wouldn’t be anywhere without the school.’
Getting My Life Back on Track
‘I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I could come to you, and you would know what to do,’ said a client facing homelessness due to domestic violence.
Our Crisis Support service connected her with a local women’s housing outreach program, providing short-term transitional accommodation until ACT Housing offered a long-term house.
During this critical period, we provided her with showers, toiletries, hot meals, a private phone room for coordinating support, and bus tickets to get to appointments. Legal Aid’s popup stall at Tuggeranong Community Centre assisted her with legal issues around her previous tenancy and domestic violence court matters. We also referred her to Care Inc for a No Interest Loan Scheme and financial counselling.
When the client moved into her new home, we provided her with Givit vouchers to buy clothing, bedding, and kitchen appliances. Through our Crisis Support program, she accessed our food pantry to stock her cupboard.
Since her initial crisis, the client has met with our Crisis Support workers several times to create a plan to rebuild her life.
‘You always have helpful information, and I know I can trust you,’ she said. ‘Sometimes just talking it out loud helps me realise that I can do it.’