Westcare’s ability to give people escaping domestic violence the supplies they need just got a little bit easier, thanks to a generous donation from The Great Walk Foundation.
Escaping violence is a daunting experience, which is more often than not done with just the clothes on one’s back.
Westcare provides vital support to victims of domestic violence in the Penrith community by distributing donations of furniture, food and clothes to help people kick-start their new life.
Now, thanks to a generous $35,000 donation from The Great Walk Foundation, Westcare were able to purchase their very own truck, which will help distribute these critical items.
Previously, the service relied on hiring trucks multiple times a year to keep up with delivery demand.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting The Great Walk fundraiser from going ahead this year, the group behind the initiative said a collection of personal and business donations enabled them to still help out where they could.
Director of Westcare Andrew Paech said the truck makes an enormous difference when it comes to the timely delivery of these vital services.
“We’ve grown in our capacity and service delivery so this represents a significant step in enlarging the services we deliver to the local community,” he said.
“Literally every day since we’ve had the truck it’s been used picking up pallets of food items and a lot of furniture which is donated and delivered to homes of domestic violence survivors and all kinds of activities.”
The morning the Westcare team picked up the truck they went straight to a home where people were moving and called in to donate their furniture.
From there, they delivered the furniture to a woman who had just recently escaped a violent relationship.
“The young lady was referred to us from NSW Department of Health and she had been the victim of a serious domestic violence, sexual assault and is a drug rape victim,” Mr Paech said.
“We have now set her up for a new future and I think that’s an indication from that first day onwards the kind of work that this truck will deliver to our community.”
Greg Nelson from The Great Walk Foundation said it was great to see the truck already put to great use.
“Whilst the walk couldn’t go ahead this year, we have contacts and regular donators, one of our biggest contributors is Rob Wearn and they were able to make this particular donation possible,” he said.
Most of Westcare’s services are provided free of charge, supported by local people and businesses who recognise that the charity is meeting real needs for real people.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.