18 Aug 2015

Age no barrier when opportunity knocks

  [caption id="attachment_518" align="alignright" width="300"] Pic: Dennis Manktelow, Heidelberg Leader[/caption] Renowned for its range of excellent quality designer clothes, books and collectables, the Children’s Protection Society Op Shop in Rosanna is equally known for its many friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. The most experienced is Roma Hosking, a Rosanna resident since 1947. For Roma the shop provides a social network and connection to the community. “I just know everyone (customers and volunteers) so well”, said Roma (90). And she certainly would - Roma has been a popular fixture at Beetham Parade since opening day in 1984. At the other end of the spectrum, the youngest assistant at the shop is Year 9 Melbourne Girls’ Grammar student Ingrid Perkins.   One Sunday, a couple years ago, Ingrid simply walked in off the street and asked if she could help out. “When I was 10 I travelled with my family around Australia and we bought all our clothes from op shops”, explained Ingrid. “When I came back I thought I’d like to work in one.” It’s heartening that a young girl these days would be so proactive about donating her time – never mind the gentle ribbing she sometimes cops from classmates. Mind you, one of her athletic friends recently scored a great bargain from the shop in the form of running spikes! Year 9 and 10 students from Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, Viewbank College and Sydney Road Community School are also helping out in the store this term for work experience and personal development. Manager Nicole Burnard believes another component of the shop’s success is the ideal of contributing to a worthy local cause. “Profits directly help fund CPS’s wide ranging programs that support vulnerable children and families in northern metro Melbourne and have done so for over a century”. The shop has been blessed by continued community support in the form of stock donations which invigorates the store and attracts bargain hunters and serious collectors alike. “We’re currently on the lookout for clothing, books, CD’s, toys and other collectables”, said Nicole. “But, as always, we do require items to be of a high quality - like our volunteers!”   National Op Shop Week runs from 23-30 August

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17 Aug 2015

A feast of entertainment at milestone CPS fundraiser

The 10th Annual Lunchtime Rumours Feast, held on Friday 14 August at the Plaza Ballroom, exceeded expectations in what was a terrific afternoon of banter, laughs, music and fun. And most importantly, the 450 plus guests and sponsors in attendance generously supported CPS via their presence, some digging deep to claim the great auction items on offer. Tireless organisers Leonie McNicol, Margaret Robinson and Elaine Marriner pulled out all stops to make the 10th instalment of the event something special.   The Plaza Ballroom looked stunning and we must thank the Marriner Group for continuing to support this annual event. Another wonderful patron Ross Stevenson and his sidekick John Burns – not to mention the rest of the 3AW Breakfast Team - were in fine form. Former Aussie bowler Damien Fleming swung by and regaled the audience with a number of great cricketing stories whilst Herald Sun crime writer Andrew Rule stepped in for John Silvester (who was feeling crook). RockWiz music guru Brian Nankervis introduced a video he made at the Heidelberg CPS Child & Family Centre which featured the uber-cute kinder age kids answering some of life’s big and small questions.  A big thanks to Tom Andronas for doing such a fine job filming and producing the short feature. CEO Aileen Ashford provided some insight into the vital work undertaken by CPS, relating ‘the journey’ embarked on by a child who had suffered abuse, and who as part of her counselling regularly illustrated her feelings on paper. Speaking of journeys, Brisbane busker and The Voice contestant Tim McCallum filled the venue with his booming operatic voice.  It was something to behold. Not to be outdone, Colleen Hewett closed the event in fine style.  'If we don't look after the kids we're stuffed' said Colleen matter-of-fact, and her passion for CPS’s cause was reflected in a spine tingling performance which also featured a sing-along with the 3AW Team. A final thanks to all our supporters and sponsors for making the Rumours Feast a yearly tradition and one that means so much to CPS and our many clients.   [gallery orderby="rand" ids="506,507,508,509,510,511,513,514,515"]  

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10 Jul 2015

CPS celebrates NAIDOC Week

  This week at our Thomastown office CPS and ReGen staff celebrated NAIDOC Week with a smoking ceremony and an excellent Aboriginal dancing and didgeridoo demonstration. Our Child & Family Centre in West Heidelberg was afforded a similar opportunity to recognise NAIDOC Week. The children absolutely loved the interactive dancing and digeridoo display.  Initially shy as always, once they warmed up there was no stopping the kids getting involved.  Despite his small stature, one little feller surprised everyone when he managed to get some noise out of the biggest didgeridoo on display.  Others loved dancing the dance of the eagle, kangaroo and other Australian animals.  The young Aboriginal dancers (above) themselves put on a fantastic performance despite the chilly weather.  The Centre was also privileged to be paid a visit by Mr and Miss NAIDOC (above right), both of whom spoke (and danced!) with great passion. In both instances we thank Ron and Graham Briggs for their part in organising two tremendous events. NAIDOC Week was a timely opportunity for our staff and clients to appreciate our Indigenous culture as CPS is currently composing its first Reconciliation Action Plan. The Plan recognises the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the Aboriginal community, and ways in which CPS can work more effectively to meet the community’s needs in northern metropolitan Melbourne.

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Case Study

Three children, family violence, a marriage breakdown and an abusive and controlling ex-husband…

This is a first hand account of how CPS helped a mum navigate a turbulent time in her life to the point where she is now excited about what the future holds for her family.