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How charitable giving funds raised at Help’s lunch are improving housing and wellbeing for people with disability 

Help has been the beneficiary of the Annual Brisbane Charity Lunch since 2016. Through the charitable giving of attendees, we’ve hosted eight lunches and raised over $1 million to help people with disability lead more fulfilling and independent lives.

In 2023, our lunch raised a record-breaking $200,000, with the goal of enhancing Help’s independent living options and hub services, providing more comfortable and appealing facilities.  

So how have the 2023 charity lunch funds been spent so far? 

Improvements to five Supported Independent Living facilities 

Everyone deserves a safe and comfortable place to live. There’s a critical shortage of suitable accommodation for people with disability, particularly intellectual disability.   

Help has a housing portfolio through which we can provide long-term supported accommodation for people with disability via our Supported Independent Living (SIL) service.  

Just over $75,000 of lunch funds raised have been spent on: 

  • Converting a villa to provide a short-term respite accommodation option 
  • Converting a five-bedroom home to become a SIL property 
  • Activating a new SIL house with new furniture and white goods 
  • Refreshing a SIL property for new residents, including painting and new white goods 
  • Completing building repairs and refurbishment of an existing SIL property. 
SIL participant Tess, who's home benefited from charitable giving

Tess, a resident of one of Help’s SIL properties says: “I like living at my house in Mitchelton. I want to live there forever because it makes me happy.”

Take a look at Tess’ modern and comfortable home and what she loves about living there.

Help offers flexible packages to help people with disability live more independently. With SIL, experienced support workers stay or drop in at scheduled times, day or night. Support workers can help with daily living tasks, creating new friendships and attending social groups, exploring the community and building healthy habits.  

Refurbishment of Help Hub at Mitchelton  

Around $30,000 has been allocated to the refurbishment of Help Hub at Mitchelton. Another example of charitable giving supporting us to provide a safe and welcoming space where people with disability can learn, grow and be themselves. 

Participants enjoy a range of activities designed to help them achieve their goals, meet friends and discover new interests. 

Projects funded by the lunch proceeds will include: 

  • A refresh of the Hub’s commercial kitchen, which is where our Cafe Club and Batter and Bake programs are run. Participants can learn basic cooking skills, often picking from our Hub gardens to create delicious and nutritious meals. Cafe Club introduces the world of hospitality including coffee making, customer service and food safety.  
  • A refresh, repaint and refurnish of our recreation and activity rooms, which are home to programs such as Creative Crew, Computer Skills, Literacy and Numeracy and Independent Life Skills. 

At Help’s Mitchelton Hub, Georgie’s been able to explore her love for art, from pottery to digital art, alongside supportive peers and staff in the Creative Crew.

Georgie and her Hub friends are enjoying the refreshed spaces as they participate in their daily activities. 

A boost to Help Nursery operations with the purchase of a new truck 

For more than 20 years, Help Nursery at Mitchelton has stocked, grown, sourced and nurtured an extensive range of wholesale plants while providing meaningful work opportunities for people with disability. Currently, 20 people with disability are employed at the nursery, building skills from potting and watering through to pruning and weeding.  

Help Nursery Horticultural Supervisor Glen says the most rewarding part of his job is “seeing people improve and be happy with what they achieve”. “It might not seem like a big deal from the outside, but in reality, it’s a big step towards building confidence and self-esteem.”

Through the generous charitable giving of attendees at the 2023 lunch, around $42,000 of the 2023 lunch funds have contributed to the purchase of a new truck for Help Nursery, replacing a vehicle at the end of its life. The truck is not only essential to smooth operations, but it provides additional opportunities for people with disability to gain valuable skills in driving, loading and managing inventory. The purchase of a new truck means more nursery revenue can be directed to nurturing the nursery and supporting employees.  

Once branded, the truck will provide a visual cue to help foster community engagement and encourage further donations and support. 

Looking to the future – Charity Lunch 2024 

In 2024, the generosity of Annual Brisbane Charity Lunch’s attendees through their charitable giving, will go towards further enhancing our independent living options and hub services. Both services providing more comfortable and appealing accommodation and support for people with disability. 

The lunch is being held on Friday, 23 August 2024 at Brisbane City Hall.  

The lunches are made possible thanks to our local organising committee and generous sponsors: Oak Capital, Austcover, ScotPac Business Finance, Macquarie Bank, McGrathNicol, Taylor David Lawyers, Hymans Valuers and Auctioneers, Cymax, Nova Cash Flow Finance, Langmeil Barossa, Brothers at War, Soul Growers.  

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