Isaacs Electorate: Charitable Organisations

A couple of weeks ago I was at the Chelsea Church of Christ in Chelsea for the weekly breakfast organised by Chelsea Care Works at the Chelsea Men’s Shed. The breakfast is an opportunity for men and women who are going through tough times to come down and have a lovely, free home-cooked breakfast. It was a pleasure to see at the breakfast Gary Rogers, who runs the Chelsea Men’s Shed; Lorna Stevenson, who manages the Longbeach Place Neighbourhood House; and the Reverend Stephen Rose of the Chelsea Church of Christ to hear how the programs being run through the men’s shed and the neighbourhood house are helping disadvantaged members of our local community.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the Chelsea Church of Christ in Chelsea for the weekly breakfast organised by Chelsea Care Works at the Chelsea Men’s Shed. The breakfast is an opportunity for men and women who are going through tough times to come down and have a lovely, free home-cooked breakfast. It was a pleasure to see at the breakfast Gary Rogers, who runs the Chelsea Men’s Shed; Lorna Stevenson, who manages the Longbeach Place Neighbourhood House; and the Reverend Stephen Rose of the Chelsea Church of Christ to hear how the programs being run through the men’s shed and the neighbourhood house are helping disadvantaged members of our local community.

The weekly breakfast is a wonderful initiative run by volunteers who offer visitors a menu of tasty bacon and eggs, sausages, cereal, toast, coffee and juice to choose from. Numbers vary from week to week but the breakfast program has been getting more popular as word spreads locally and it is a great chance for people to have a good feed, have a chat and develop new friendships. I hope that it goes from strength to strength and has growing support in our local community, in the form of donations in cash and in kind and in people continuing to volunteer to help this weekly breakfast event.

The weekly breakfast is but one of a raft of programs run through the men’s shed and the neighbourhood house. I was shown the computer lab on the site where people, often with learning disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds, can come and hone their computer skills. They even offer publishing services for local community groups and businesses who want quality designing and printing at a cheap price. Gary Rogers showed me through the men’s shed out the back of the church, which is a fantastic place for men to come, socialise and develop their handiwork skills. It has developed terrifically since the last time I was there. The guys make some great things, including noughts and crosses games, the odd piece of furniture and my favourite—the production of table tennis bats made out of blackboard, which are sent over to children in Africa so that they can play bat and ball or use the bat as an educational tool.

It is great to see an organisation operating in our local community that promotes, particularly among men, greater social interaction and opportunities. I look forward to helping the Chelsea Men’s Shed and Long Beach Neighbourhood House continue their great work into the future. I very much commend the key players in these local agencies, those being Gary Rogers, Lorna Stevenson and Reverend Stephen Rose, who have long served our local community.