Rallying together to support the needy

Published 10:00am 15 June 2024

Rallying together to support the needy
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Representatives from more than 30 community groups and agencies gathered at the Redcliffe Hockey Fields on June 13 to support the homeless and disadvantaged as part of the annual Reconnect event.

Now in its 11th year, Reconnect is a “one stop shop” for people needing to access information from government, non-government, community and private services.

Among those in attendance were Encircle, Orange Sky, Thread Together, Metro North Mental Health, Moreton ATSICHS, Lives Lived Well, NDIS, Dental Health Foundation, QuIHN health services, Mercy Community, ETC (Employment, Training, Community), Relationships Australia, QSTARS, Services Australia, Moreton Bay Region Libraries, Gold Coin Heroes Op Shop, The Salvation Army, Saints Care, 54 Reasons (part of the Save the Children Australia group), Kyabra, Flourish Australia, Chameleon Housing, Lutheran Services, QLD Government, Bric Housing, and Footprints Community.

Volunteers from The Breakfast Club served up egg and bacon rolls as well as hamburgers to the hungry, while the team from Rosies gave out hot and cold drinks.

Staff from Absolutely You Hairstyling at Petrie, plus hairdressing students from Demi International also donated their time to give haircuts to those who can’t afford to go to a salon or barber shop.

Speaking to Moreton Daily at the event on Thursday, Shane Frost from Encircle Community Care labelled the event a huge success. 

“The day went brilliantly – it was bigger and better than last year’s event,” Shane said.

"We had more than 300 people come down to talk face-to-face to all the local service providers who were there. 

“We got lots of great feedback from people who were able to make connections with the local service providers.

“This year, we didn’t only want to focus on people who are homeless, but also help those who are struggling due to the housing crisis and cost of living crisis, because a lot more people are doing it tough these days.

“We also had a bigger focus on making sure there were more health providers. I spoke to the team from QuIHN health services, and they said they had more than double the number of people drop by from last year, which was fantastic.”

The event was supported by City of Moreton Bay, Encircle Community Services, The Breakfast Club, and the Redcliffe Hockey Club.

To see more photos from the day, click through the gallery below.

Don’t be scared to ask for help

Having worked at Encircle for 17 years, Rose Butler has seen many people reach out for help.

Rose, who is the Homestay Senior Case Manager at Encircle, was instrumental in establishing the very first Reconnect event.

“It’s wonderful to see how this event has continued to grow every year,” Rose said.

“Before the first event, a lot of people said it wouldn’t work, but here we are still going strong 11 years later.

“We had 15 service providers at that first event, many of which still come every year like Centrelink, The Department of Housing, and Relationships Australia.

“This year, there were 33 providers, so we have doubled the amount of support for people to access.”

Knowing that many people in the community couldn’t attend this year’s event for various reasons, Rose says help is always available for people in need.

“If there is anyone in the community that needs assistance, there is no need to feel embarrassed. Please reach out because we are here to help all year round,” Rose said.

“Don’t ever feel like asking for help is the wrong thing to do – the right thing to do is to seek assistance.

“You can call Encircle, tell us your circumstances, and we can direct you to a service that will benefit you the most.

“There is bound to be a program at Encircle that can help you, otherwise we will be able to refer you to another service or give you the resources you need to help you bet back on your feet.”

Helpful phone numbers

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out to the following organisations:

The Breakfast Club: 0467 811 380

Encircle Lawnton: 3889 0063

Encircle Redcliffe: 3284 3081

Encircle Kallangur: 3465 3200

Chameleon Housing: 3284 4805

The Salvation Army: 13 72 58

Bric Housing: 3230 5555

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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