Winsome Newsletter July 2016.pdf Download
From Paul Murphy
The continuing and growing success of the Lismore Soup Kitchen at the Winsome is due to the dedication and commitment of all its volunteers. On behalf of the Winsome Management Team, I congratulate and thank them all for a job well done. The Winsome is now recognised as the Hub for connecting service providers with their clientele, for being the venue for service clubs fund raising dinners, choir practices, men’s and ladies groups and the One in Christ Fellowship on Sunday mornings. And the Soupies connect at the Winsome daily.
Sharon is deserving of accolades for her oversight of the kitchen and café operations. Such is her care and performance that the Lismore City Council, following a recent unannounced food facility inspection gave our kitchen a 4 star rating attaining a score of 95.8%. Congratulations Sharon.
Our thanks also to Paul W for keeping the grounds of the Winsome so beautifully kept, his efforts during the recent flood emergency and generally keeping an eye on things.
The soup sales at the recent Lantern Parade Winter Warmers Charity Stall again surpassed expectations due to the superb soup cookers and servers on the night with many thanks to them and Event Manager Sharon. About $1,500 was raised.
The Winsome was again fortunate to receive a $3,000 grant from Northern Rivers Community Foundation with a top up from the Lismore Soup Kitchen to enable the replacement of the ailing dishwasher with a ‘You Beaut’ new commercial unit. This one is much more efficient.
Another flood emergency in early June saw our residents, volunteers and soupies move plant and equipment to higher areas or off site on Ridley’s Pantec and then assisting with the clean up afterwards. Fortunately the “team” is getting this manoeuvre down to a fine art. For the first time the SES ordered an evacuation. A very short evacuation as it turned out. The flood peaked at 9.1m about a metre less than predicted. A big thankyou to all involved.
Thomas George MP has enabled grant funding for the Winsome to purchase a Portaloo on a trailer to enable us to limit evacuations to all but the highest of floods and fine tune our Flood Emergency Plan.
Thankyou Thomas and to Bryan Jamison from Vinnies also for handling the acquisition.
Winter is upon us again with a big demand for warm clothes and blankets being met with a corresponding supply from our ever generous citizens of Lismore and surrounds. We particularly feel for those tent dwellers on the riverbanks and elsewhere on these cold nights.
Our thanks also to our 500 Club members for their financial donations which ensure the Winsome wheels keep turning, Aldi, for supplying good quality fruit and vegetables, Woolworths for their bread and Hutley Bros Butchery, Blue Ribbon Meats and Brad’s Butchery for their discounts, Brookfarm and to Caddies Coffee and Tea for their support also. The Winsome coffee machine is working overtime these cold mornings in particular.
I would like to thank Bryan Jamison and St Vincent de Pau Society’s Lismore Central Office for their ongoing support of the Lismore Soup Kitchen. Bryan, apart from his role as Homeless Outreach Worker, assists the Medical Clinic with resources and aids me in many ways including writing grant funding applications.
Paul Murphy, Winsome Centre Manager
From the Café
At the Winsome Café we are very happy to provide a barista made coffee to our volunteer staff and a friendly person at the café bar to chat to while making an awesome coffee for any customer. I have had the opportunity to refer some of our café volunteers to apply for a traineeship with Northern Rivers Community Gateway for a Barista course. This has and will provide more opportunities in the hospitality sector for employment. We have awesome Café volunteer staff and we are very fortunate to have them. Some of our volunteers say it is one of the best coffees in Lismore.
Sharon Dwyer, Kitchen Manager
I first became aware of the Winsome about 4 years ago when my partner and I dropped in to do a little entertaining at a Christmas community lunch for homeless and vulnerable people. My partner also has an uncle who is often supported by the community which has developed there.
As an outsider looking in, I quickly realised how valuable the Winsome is to vulnerable people. The Winsome is a hub, where people can come to access a great number of services that can set them up to re-join the mainstream community. The Soup kitchen, as I understand, provides about 80 lunches every day to make sure disadvantaged people can access good dietary needs. Winters in Lismore can be very cold. The Winsome often supplies blankets and warm clothing to people in need. Over time a feeling of community has developed. People can turn up here to fulfil a need to be included. The Winsome volunteer staff do fabulous work to facilitate this need. Often people have been saved from being rendered homeless. Depending on availability, many people have been greatly assisted to obtain temporary and then permanent accommodation. People often can walk off the street and receive a great number of support services that otherwise may be out of reach.
Most of the work done here is by dedicated and committed volunteers, who turn up every day. I can't speak highly enough of these amazing people. Bless the community of the Winsome.
The new Dishwasher, thanks to a grant and other funds donated to the Winsome. This makes far less noise than the old one that served many years in the building.
The Fish Tank is looking fantastic, thanks to Nick.
A Wonderful Journey
For the past thirteen years I have had the privilege of volunteering for the Soup Kitchen. Every Friday we made sandwiches and over time I got involved in activities at the Winsome. In the beginning it was at the shed over the railway with Richard (my hero), my lovely friend Sonia, Marge full of life and energy and many other people who wanted to walk beside people doing it tough. I loved the shed and the close interaction with everyone but events changed and the Winsome became home and the new gathering place for the homeless.
There were a few grumbles from some folk in the community about having a place for the homeless but as time has gone by the city has embraced the Soup Kitchen Ethos and it is a standalone example of what a dedicated group of people can achieve. Just moving around the building and having an opportunity to sit and talk to everyone is special. Many of the residents arrive after living in difficult circumstances and to watch them settle in and gain confidence in themselves is life affirming. As one friend said “the Winsome saved my life”. He is now back in the community living independently. Everyone at the Winsome has a story to tell and it is a humbling experience to walk part of that journey with them.
The kitchen is a hub of activity where volunteers and residents work side by side preparing nutritious food as a result of generous donations from local businesses and people in the community.
I have made many friends at the Winsome and when I am around and about in town it is good to meet and greet so many people through the soup kitchen. Life is a mystery as people come into your lives unexpectedly and bring life changing experiences.
I came to the Northern Region not knowing what life would bring. Lismore has a heart and soul and you will find it at the Winsome.
This last year has been a very busy one for us at the Winsome. As always, I like to start the overview of our year, by acknowledging and thanking our wonderful and committed volunteers. We are serving a nutritious main meal up to 80 people a day, and this is thanks to the cheerful team in the kitchen.
A pickup from the Lismore Aldi store on a daily basis, ensures a fresh salad and up to 3 vegies with the daily meal, and greatly helps us with our budget!
Last year we wrote about the construction of the Doctor’s clinic downstairs and this has been such an asset to the services we provide at the Winsome. The clinic runs every Wednesday and the team consists of a dedicated GP and a nurse from Community Health. This is truly one of the best services that we can provide at the Winsome and we are very thankful to Primary Health Network for enabling this to happen. Some of our people have long standing health issues and they are now having these addressed.
One of the major problems that homeless people have is poor dental health and we are exploring options to help address this also.
One of the main challenges facing us this year is the fact that many homeless people in our city are living in tents without being able to live in the local caravan parks. As volunteers we are trying to assist people into more stable accommodation and this takes much of our time. The Winsome is not able to accommodate all of the homeless in our city and a longer term management of this problem is essential.
We continue to be grateful to our Winsome 500 Club Supporters, because without your help, we could not continue to provide support and encouragement to the marginalised people of our city.
President, Lismore Soup Kitchen Inc.
Winsome Finances 2015/6
The Winsome 500 Club continues to be a wonderful group of supporters of the work of the Lismore Soup Kitchen Inc. The support group has grown from 130 monthly supporters at June 30th 2015 to 140 supporters at June 30th 2016, and the regular monthly contribution has increased from $3960 per month to $5770 per month. There are also a number of people that contribute to the 500 Club with a one-off annual contribution.
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Lismore continues to be a great supporter of the Winsome, through the payment of the gas bills of both the Winsome and Mazzer House, and providing the much needed services of Brian, their Outreach Worker. Brian provides a wonderful support service to the people looking to get into a home, and come in out of the cold.
Further financial regular funding comes from the rents received both from residents of the Winsome and also from Mazzer House, totalling approximately $12,000 per month. The Soup Kitchen continues to function with the support of volunteers and with no recurrent government funding, and as such we are very aware of the need to be careful stewards of the money that is donated by our supporters. Care is taken to spend all monies wisely and economically, and the financial position continues to be sound. Thankyou to all of our supporters who have helped continue the work of the Winsome and Soup Kitchen during the year 2015 / 16, and we look forward to your continuing support during the coming year.
Providing a Service to the Community since 1990
11 Bridge St North Lismore
Po Box 6045 South Lismore NSW 2480
Centre Manager: Paul Murphy
Mobile: 0428 665 445