Uniting Harris Centre 2021 Report

For the last 50 years we have been working closely with local communities from Ultimo, Pyrmont and surrounding suburbs, to help with everything from emergency relief services, offering children’s programs, community events and providing support with cultural or family challenges to increasing community connections.

With the support from Christmas in Pyrmont Inc, we have been able to continue important and much needed programs such as the Emergency Relief Food Service and Children and Family Programs.

Emergency Relief Food Service

  • CHEX Community Gift Cards and Food Pantry – We have been able to provide CHEX community gift cards to individuals and families in our community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing financial disadvantage, to purchase goods and services suitable for their needs from partnering local businesses. For more information about CHEX please click here. In addition, we have also been able to maintain a constant supply of essential food items for our food pantry, purchased from local businesses and Foodbank Australia. People accessing our emergency relief service are eligible to receive food parcels as well as CHEX community gift cards. The dollar amount each person receives varies between $50 to $150 according to their individual circumstances. Since September 2021more than 100 people have been supported and by November this year an additional 100 people will be able to access this support.
  • Harris Connects – This initiative aims to offer access to food in a dignified way to financially disadvantaged members of our community by inviting them to breakfast or lunch at partnering local businesses. We are running a trial which will end in November this year and approximately 80 people are expected to participate.  

Children and Family Programs focused on Early Intervention

Your support has helped us develop and expand our current programs targeted to children, and families. Through these programs and activities children, young people, families and communities are supported to develop confidence and self determination to participate and create a sense of belonging in their community. Below are examples of how your support has been distributed.

  • Circle of Security Parenting Program (8 weekly sessions) – We paid for the training of a member of staff to facilitate this program during 2022 and have allocated funds to help pay for childcare for families that want to participate but are unable or cannot afford to leave their children in childcare in order to attend the sessions. Through this program parents/carers can increase their parenting skills to provide the emotional support needed to develop secure attachment, resilience and enhanced school readiness for their children. Our goal is to run at least two intakes of at least 10 families per intake.
  • NAIDOC Event 2022 – We have paid for dance and storytelling workshops performed by First Nations artists. This event will take place during NAIDOC week in July 2022 at Quarry Green Ultimo and children from local playgroups and childcare centres will be invited to attend. In previous events we have had approximately 200 preschool children attending.
  • Symphony Seeds – Music Workshops for children from 0 to 5 – These very popular sessions for families have been happening since 2020. We now have 3 sessions happening on Fridays every week during school terms. With you support we have been able to pay a member of the team to support the teacher and help run these workshops throughout 2022.
  • Multicultural Playgroups – We have been able to allocate funds to replace old equipment such as a puppet theater and indoor playground equipment.
  • Language classes and Speech therapy – During a recent survey, more than 50 local families have informed us of their interest in language classes for their children. Also, the lack of affordable speech therapy services was identified and is something that many families are concerned about. We have been able to allocate funds to explore long term solutions and to implement short term programs such as trial classes and information sessions.

Thank you Christmas In Pyrmont for your amazing ongoing support!

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