Winter Appeal launches as cost-of-living crisis bites

Penrith Mayor Todd Carney and State Member for Penrith, Karen McKeown.
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The Penrith CBD Corporation is joining together with Penrith Community Kitchen and other local businesses to keep the vulnerable warm this winter.

The annual Winter Appeal began on Wednesday, May 1 and will run throughout the entirety of winter to ensure everyone has the essentials needed to face the chilling temperatures.

Penrith CBD Corporation CEO Gai Hawthorn said the appeal is to ensure the vulnerable get the support they need.

“The Penrith Community kitchen have food to keep people warm but we notice that when they come in they just have no jacket or no shoes and socks or gloves or beanies,” Hawthorn said.

“So, many years ago we decided that for the couple of months during winter we would run the Winter Appeal.”

The appeal is in collaboration with a range of Penrith local businesses and organisations including Penrith RSL, Penrith City Council, NAB Bank and The Creative Fringe.

Hawthorn shared how important it is for this appeal to have firsthand clothes to ensure the warmth of those living rough this winter.

“We’re not asking for secondhand clothes, we are asking for as new or new and that’s just because of the warmth factor,” Hawthorn said.

“We’re looking for those things to make people warm this winter.”

For any secondhand items needing to be donated, it’s advised to visit donation shops or clothing bins.

Hawthorn said that due to the cost-of-living crisis, supporting others in our community is paramount.

“I think, especially at the moment, where there is economic challenges and people are really doing it tough, if we can enlighten their day with something that just keeps them a little bit warm, and [give them] some hot food, that’s what we’re here for,” Hawthorn said.

“We’re all here to work and to help each other.”

State Member for Penrith, Karen McKeown, is supporting the campaign and shared how important it is to get into the giving spirit.

“As this winter approaches, I encourage Penrith businesses and the wider community to donate new items to help put the warmth back into the lives of our most vulnerable residents this winter,” she said.

“With so many struggling with the cost-of-living situation it’s important that we think of those who are doing it tough by donating new winter items to the drop box in my office.”

McKeown said she expects the Penrith community to come together and help out fellow residents.

“I have seen firsthand the giving spirit in our Penrith local community, so make this winter a little warmer for someone else by donating. Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a significant difference,” she said.

Drop off boxes are available in the main foyer of Penrith City Council, McKeown’s office on High Street, NAB (on the corner of Henry and Riley Street), Penrith RSL, The Creative Fringe, and the Penrith Community Kitchen.

More information can be found at


Emily Chate

Emily Chate joined The Western Weekender in 2024, and covers local news - primarily courts and politics. A graduate of the University of Wollongong, Emily has contributed to The Daily Telegraph and worked as a freelance journalist.

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