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Pollies praise Canice’s

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Senator Andrew Bragg and Canice’s Kitchen community manager Carrie Deane. Photo: Facebook
Senator Andrew Bragg and Canice’s Kitchen community manager Carrie Deane. Photo: Facebook

Support grows for inner-city parish outreach to those doing it tough

Canice’s Kitchen has grown from humble beginnings to such a powerhouse of support for the homeless and other vulnerable people that even Federal pollies are taking notice.

Last week the daily meals and services outreach based at St Canice’s parish in Elizabeth Bay was mentioned in both the upper and lower houses of parliament.

On Tuesday Allegra Spender MP said she was impressed by the growing organisation in her electorate and its community manager Carrie Deane.

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She told the House of Representatives the story of Jane (name changed to protect her privacy), who last year was helped to prepare for job interviews after 25 years of living on Centrelink benefits. Now managing recruitment for her employer, Jane reached out to Carrie to offer others opportunities in turn.

“It’s a wonderful story, a great example of what Canice’s Kitchen does, and addresses a fundamental issue that we have in long-term unemployment,” Ms Spender said.

The following day Senator Andrew Bragg commended the service for providing meals and support for more than 30 years for people who are doing it tough and for having “more volunteers than you can poke a stick at”.

“In the past few weeks, I have been able to duck down to Canice’s Kitchen. It is a one-stop shop for people who are down on their luck. You can go there for a hot meal, but you can also access the services that you would need to get back into the workforce, including an ironed shirt and a practice interview, and access to other services that will help you get back into the workforce and back on your feet.”

“Starting as a Sunday lunch soup kitchen more than 30 years ago, four hundred volunteers now keep the kitchen buzzing seven days a week.”

Mr Bragg said he will running in Sydney’s annual City to Surf marathon to raise funds for the outreach.

“It is running on the smell of an oily rag through the goodwill of the people in the community, without much government support…Canice’s Kitchen is a good cause,” he said.

Starting as a Sunday lunch soup kitchen more than 30 years ago, four hundred volunteers now keep the kitchen buzzing seven days a week.

There’s a personalised employment training program, weekly health and legal clinics, daily showers with access to toiletries, personal care items and brand new clothing.

All is made possible entirely through donations and partnerships with organisations and businesses.

Ms Dean said that Jane’s experience was just one example of the “amazing multiplying effect” of accompanying a vulnerable person in a direct and holistic way.

“If you sit down and accompany somebody directly in what they need, and help them to succeed in their own personal career and life goals, you can have an enormous effect on the community,” she said.

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