Communities at Work is proud to launch our annual report 2020-2021.
Message from Lee Maiden, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Communities at Work:
“As I look back on my previous report, the reflections were the difficult times we had endured with bushfires, storms and the early stages of the pandemic. The last twelve months have been less traumatic particularly as the ACT did not have to endure the strict lockdowns and restrictions.
However, for many vulnerable people in our community, life became a whole lot harder. If there was ever a time we needed to step up and support our community it was in 2020-2021, and we were ready, willing and able.
This support included, amongst many other things, our transport drivers’ continuing service throughout the year to ensure clients could still get to their medical appointments.
Due to the impact of the previous year on those vulnerable in our community, we anticipated increased demand for food and support. In preparation, we relocated our pantries to larger spaces at both Gungahlin and Tuggeranong, to ensure we were prepared. The relocation allowed us to support more clients with a wider range of options including extra pre-cooked meals, a better variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, larger supplies of food and a comfortable and respectful area to provide crisis support for clients.
It was so wonderful to see 2021 start in a much better way than the bushfires of 2020. To celebrate the wonderful commitment of our educators during the COVID -19 crisis in early 2020, we presented them with certificates of appreciation along with a letter from Minister Berry who also acknowledged their commitment. It was important that we say a big thank you to all our staff, and we did so with a delicious box of chocolates for them all.
There were also many great achievements during 2020-2021 one of which was the opening of the senior secondary campus of the Galilee School In February 2021. This campus is initially to support Year 11 students who started with us in 2021 and will then give us the capacity to deliver Year 12 in 2022.
We undertook a strategic review of our HR functions which resulted in the enhancement to the provision of HR Services. We also decided to change the name to the People, Culture and Wellness team to better reflect the functions required to support the organisation.
We undertook our first Disability audit when mandated reforms in the Disability Sector required Communities at Work to apply to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to re-register as an NDIS provider. This was a welcomed opportunity to ensure we provide the best services for our clients.
We had a successful Christmas appeal in 2020 due to the incredible generosity of the Canberra community, there were more than 1000 hampers handed out during December and 1100 people receiving gifts to put under their trees. We received many gift cards and the leftover vouchers went towards purchasing school uniforms and supplies.
With all of the events of the past few years, testing us all at every level, our resilience and commitment to providing the Canberra community with the care and respect they deserve did not relent.
Year after year I commend all of our staff and volunteers for all their hard work and loyalty and this year is no different, thank you to you all. The Board have also given more than ever before and I thank them so much for their contribution and commitment.
I am proud of what Communities at Work has achieved, and I sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in the incredibly important work we do.