120 volunteers defy Carevan criticism

Carevan volunteers Mark Haley, Suzy King and Bob Reid get ready for action at the food van’s training day. Picture: KYLIE GOLDSMITH
Carevan volunteers Mark Haley, Suzy King and Bob Reid get ready for action at the food van’s training day. Picture: KYLIE GOLDSMITH
120 volunteers defy Carevan criticism

VOLUNTEERS turned out in force to a Carevan Foundation training day in South Albury on Saturday, despite Archdeacon Peter MacLeod-Miller’s view the venture is misguided.

One hundred and twenty people took part in three sessions across the day to get them acquainted with the operations of the food van for the homeless.

Father MacLeod-Miller, the rector of St Matthew’s Albury, told Saturday’s The Border Mail the Carevan was a “temporary” arrangement that offered no long-term solutions for the Border’s disadvantaged.

But the volunteers who had signed on to lend a hand said they couldn’t have been happier to be involved with the project.

“I’ve got everything I need — I’m happy and comfortable — so why not put extra time into helping someone else?” Wodonga electrician Bob Reid said.

“There are people out there who have not got what they need.”

Fellow volunteer Mark Haley had already gone on trips with the Carevan and said in many cases, those who turned out to use the service were as interested in the company and conversation as they were in the food.

“I found it a very personal experience,” he said.

“You came away from it feeling pretty good — the people who have turned out there have been great people; it’s a worthwhile experience all round.”

Another volunteer, Suzy King, posted the following comment on The Border Mail’s website after the training day had finished:

“There is not only ONE answer to the social issues our community faces ... Let’s hope we can enhance, or build on what is already available from the church groups and other charities and work together, to show we do care.”

Foundation vice-president Jodie Tiernan said the volunteers were expected to take over the running of the van from the administration team within a fortnight.

“So much of the community wants to get involved ... it gives them a sense of value,” she said.

Editorial — page 12