Giving back

Category Archives: Volunteering

Giving back
15th August, 2018

The Co-op’s charitable donations are making a difference in the community.

Photo: Vigil outside the Windsor office of Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, to mark five years detention on Manus and Nauru and 12 deaths.

End of financial year (EOFY) at the Co-op involves some serious number crunching, a bout of tedious auditing and the much more rewarding task of sharing a percentage of our profits. And while we regularly donate to various local community groups and social justice organisations throughout the year – including Katoomba Community Neighbourhood Centre, Mid Mountains Community Hub, Aboriginal Culture and Resource Centre, Earth Recovery/Food Rescue at Junction 142, and Blue Mountains Cancer Help – this financial year we were also able to make some extra donations to deserving local community groups.

Among them is the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG) which champions the rights of, and provides practical assistance to asylum seekers and refugees in western Sydney.

George Winston, Fundraising Coordinator at BMRSG, says the money received from the Co-op will be used to continue their vital work. “The Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group committee is hugely grateful for the cash donation from the Co-op which will help us to maintain 76 asylum seeker families in western Sydney,” Mr Winston says. “We help people with food, school supplies, medical costs, rent assistance and other essentials, so cash injections are crucial.”

Photo: Two ‘Nannas’ knitting at the Blue Mountains Music Festival to invite people to ask about the treatment of those seeking asylum.

There are currently 480 members of the BMRSG but Mr Winston says they are always looking for people who can donate skills, money and energy to the cause.

“Some of our members visit asylum seekers in western Sydney and detainees in Villawood Detention Centre. And we have a community and political advocacy group that works with schools and other organisations to increase awareness and influence politicians, so there are many ways to get involved,” he says.

To become a member or donate to the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group go to www.bmrsg.org.au or contact George Winston directly on funds@bmrsg.org,au or 0490 179347.

Child’s play

Another beneficiary was Katoomba North Public School who received a donation to help fund improvements to the playground. Principal, Cathy Clark, says the money was greatly appreciated. “The support of the Food Co-op means that together with P & C fundraising we will have sufficient money to grind protruding tree roots in the playground, spread mulch to make an even playing surface, and erect a cubby house,” she said.

This calendar year also saw the implementation of the Nourishing Families project at North Katoomba Community Hub. The brainchild of Prue Adams, former Marketing and Member Liaison Officer at the Co-op, Nourishing Families brought together Jackie Spolc from the Hub and holistic nutrition coach Danielle O’Donoghue to develop a program of community cooking classes aimed at educating participants in how to prepare tasty nutritious food. The four-term program, partly funded by a grant from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (supported by Scenic World) and donations from local councillors, has been a great success to date and application for funding for next year’s project is underway.

Can we fix it?
15th August, 2018

Can we fix it? Yes we can, with your help! Toolo, the not-for-profit Katoomba Tool Library, is calling for volunteer repairers for the new Katoomba Repair Café.

Are you a Mr or Ms Fixit? Do you have mending skills you’d like to share with the community? Then we need you at Katoomba’s Repair Café.

Toolo  and the Blue Mountains Food Co-op are launching a Repair Café at Junction 142 in Katoomba on 15th September. Repair Cafés are non-monetary shopfronts for an international sustainability movement that is all about repairing damaged or broken household items that would otherwise end up in landfill. Repair Cafés offer communities the chance to learn how to mend clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, toys, computer equipment and more by providing tools, materials and volunteers with repair skills in all kinds of fields.

Just rewards

As incentive, volunteer repairers will receive a free years membership with the Co-op (valued at $35) for their first Repair Café and volunteer points for time spent at the Repair Café on subsequent dates. If volunteers are already members of the Co-op they will receive volunteer points.

To register your interest contact Toolo on toolo.blue@gmail.com

POSITION VACANT – Coordinator role

The Repair Café Mender Coordinator is a volunteer position whose main responsibility is to liaise directly with the volunteer menders from the community, provide them with rostered shifts, provide an orientation and safety induction, and collect and file volunteer paperwork. The Repair Café Mender Coordinator should be familiar with basic computer skills, such as Google Drive, Microsoft Word and Excel spreadsheets. This volunteer position is for approximately 8 hours per month and entitles the successful candidate to free membership of the Blue Mountains Food Co-op, valued at $35 (or volunteer points if already a member) and full membership to the Blue Mountains Tool Library valued at $99. To apply contact Toolo on toolo.blue@gmail.com.

 

 

 

SHOP SMARTER, EAT HEALTHIER AND SAVE MONEY AT THE CO-OP – BECOME A VOLUNTEER!
23rd July, 2013

The Co-op wouldn’t be what it is today without the efforts of many enthusiastic volunteers over the years.  We are always so grateful and appreciative of the time people put into helping out in the shop and at Cleaning Bees.  Our shop is an incredibly busy and dynamic place, and we can always use some extra help to ensure things run smoothly and efficiently.

We are about to embark on a new system of training volunteers, so that when you come in for a shift you know exactly what to do and how to do it.  We will be holding volunteer induction and training evenings twice a month from May onwards.  These evenings will provide an opportunity for new volunteers to learn all about how they can help out in the shop, but we’d also love to further the training of our more experienced volunteers so that they can work with as much self-direction as possible.

  • On a day to day basis volunteers help with:Keeping the Co-op clean, tidy and organised
  • Looking after the garden and outside the store
  • Helping customers get their shopping to their car
  • General filling and keeping everything topped up

But we’d also like to know if you have any special skills you could offer, such as;

  • Handy person
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Desktop publishing
  • Research
  • Newsletter contributions
  • PR, marketing, promotion
  • Graphic design
  • Filing / office skills
  • Events co-ordination
  • Gardening
  • Sewing
  • Cooking – for staff meetings and events
  • Community classes that might benefit staff (eg. Yoga, pilates, tai chi)
  • Screen printing

In exchange for only 4 hours volunteer work in a calendar month, you can receive an extra 20% off your shopping up to a total of $250.

Interested in getting involved? Speak to a staff member, or contact volunteers@bmfoodcoop.org.au

COLLETTE AVERY

NEW FACES AT THE CO-OP 2013
16th July, 2013

There a few new faces at the Co-op. Since November we have gained two new directors,  Cathy Cavanagh and Gren Olsen who is our treasurer. Susan J, Maeve  and our old  schoolie Sam have joined the Co-op as relief workers and Leanne has recently come on board as a new permnanent part-time worker. We also have three new schoolies – Olivia, Cory and our latest addition Felix.

We welcome them all and hope they enjoy being part of the Co-op community!

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