London calling for King's coronation

Published 5:00pm 3 May 2023

London calling for King's coronation
Words by Nick Crockford

Eight members of GIVIT, the charity launched in Moreton Bay Region 14 years ago, have been invited to the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday.

Founder and Director Juliette Wright, from Clear Mountain, received the official invitation last month from the office of Queen Consort Camilla, GIVIT’s first patron.

Mrs Wright and her colleagues, who are paying all costs themselves, have been given prime viewing positions in a grandstand right outside Buckingham Palace.

Strict security rules mean the GIVIT team will enter the stand between 6-7am. No access is permitted after 8am Saturday, nor can anyone leave before 3.30pm.

However, they will be among the closest spectators as King Charles and Queen Camilla leave for the Coronation in Westminster Abbey, return and appear on the Palace balcony.

“Look out for the teal GIVIT flags and Australia flags!” Mrs Wright said from London, where she attended a dinner with Queensland Governor Dr Jeanette Young and husband Prof Graeme Nimmo (see picture above) last night.

London calling for King's coronation
Juliette Wright meeting King Charles in Sydney in 2015

“What’s happening is amazing. This is surreal. Not just for me, for everyone.”

The invitation from Buckingham Palace was initially for five grandstand tickets but that left three members of staff, who wanted to go, “so disappointed,” Mrs Wright said.

She contacted the Queen Consort’s office "because they (three staff members) were devastated to miss out" and went on a standby list.

"Three days later they (Buckingham Palace) said yes," Mrs Wright said. "The Palace is always so kind and generous.”

It was a similar gesture which led to Queen Consort Camilla becoming GIVIT’s first patron – and GIVIT becoming her first patronage outside the UK.

The Queen Consort supported GIVIT during the devastating 2020 Black Summer bushfires and again last year during the floods.

She was impressed by the practical way GIVIT was helping communities and individuals, ensuring those who need help, received what they need, when they need it.

In 2020 Camilla made a donation and GIVIT sent an acquittal confirming how the money had been spent, helping children and farmers impacted by the disaster.

The Queen Consort’s private secretary said Camilla had asked if there was any other way she could help - and was invited to be GIVIT's first patron.

In a Zoom call with Mrs Wright and GIVIT staff, the Queen Consort said: “I think you are absolutely incredible” and described GIVIT is a “fantastic charity doing a fantastic job”.

“I have watched and listened to the daily news of how Australians are suffering from these catastrophic bushfires and now, the coronavirus and my heart goes out to them.

“As Patron of GIVIT, I hope I shall be able to help this remarkable charity deal with a crisis at grassroots level.”

It’s a far cry from the day GIVIT started in 2009 when Mrs Wright was at her kitchen bench trying to donate baby clothes to charities in the area.

London calling for King's coronation
Juliette Wright, right, in northern NSW during last year's floods.

“They said they didn’t need them,” she told the Queen Consort on Zoom, “they needed sanitary items, work boots, bikes with carriages so mums can get children to day care.

“I realised charities don’t have a warehouse out the back with stuff for a rainy day.

“So, I started GIVIT as a way for charities to request whatever they needed for their clients.”

GIVIT now asks for funds so it can also support local businesses "so it is a win, win, win - for business and charities get exactly what they need,” Mrs Wright said.

GIVIT works with more than 4500 organisations across the country to help people and communities recover from emergencies, drought, domestic and family violence, homelessness, disability and mental health.

It collates all offers of goods and services online, saving charities and services from having to sort, store and dispose of unrequested donations.

All donated money is used for essential items and services.

The charity’s operational costs are covered by government contracts and corporate partners.

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