Unitywater support assists charity to continue feeding the homeless through COVID-19
When COVID-19 hit in March, the Breakfast Club Redcliffe saw increased demand for services, less volunteers and fewer donations. This made their job of providing meals for the homeless and most vulnerable people in the community extremely difficult.
But support from Unitywater has enabled them to continue their important work.
The Breakfast Club Redcliffe Chairperson Michelle Gilchrist said the not-for-profit charity provided up to 250 meals a week prior to COVID-19 and was funded entirely by donations from the community and local businesses.
During COVID-19, the demand for meals and support grew by 50 per cent, yet for health and safety purposes, they were down on volunteers and donations of food.
“Unfortunately, we have had to cut back on some of our core services over the past few months due to social distancing restrictions, which has been heart-breaking,” Ms Gilchrist said.
“But our support in the community was still needed so we made a few changes to ensure that we could still help those people that needed it most. These changes included providing meals in take-away containers, and some frozen meals.
“We had to find a way to operate with minimal volunteers, yet still provide an essential service to help those in need.”
Through its community program, Unitywater provided some much-needed support for the Breakfast Club Redcliffe. This support has enabled them to meet the increased demand for the services they offer.
Executive Manager Customer and Community Katherine Gee said Unitywater’s support was designed to reduce the pressure on the not-for-profit organisation to stay open, especially during such turbulent times.
“The Breakfast Club Redcliffe is an essential service and because Unitywater knows what it takes to deliver essential services 24/7, we are proud to partner with them to support the community in which we live and work,” Ms Gee said.
Looking to the future, Ms Gilchrist said the support from Unitywater has meant they no longer had to worry about how to keep the hub doors open and were also able to provide some future certainty for its community outreach program and other services it offers.
“Unitywater’s support has meant I’ve been able to focus on attracting more food donations which are now starting to flow through again,” Ms Gilchrist said.
“Food is our number one need and we appreciate any donation we can receive in relation to food. I’m also focussed on building up our volunteer base again now that restrictions are lifting.”