How a simple pantry cupboard connected the Seymour community
After receiving a donated cupboard from Bunnings and turning it into a community pantry, the Seymour community have begun donating various items for other families to utilise.
How it began
Earlier this year, after discussions around the increase in the cost of living, Our Place Community Facilitator Tanya became determined to put a pantry cupboard on site as an ongoing community resource.
Our Place then got in touch with the local Bunnings store to see if they were able to help. After submitting a formal written request for assistance, a few days later, Our Place was informed that Bunnings was able to assist. Within a short few weeks, a brand new cupboard arrived and was kindly assembled by Bunnings. Bunnings also wanted to support the community further and donated 83 boxes of Bunnings Lego, which will be used within upcoming on site literacy programs to encourage young readers to keep at it!
The opportunities a cupboard can bring
While Tanya was painting and preparing the cupboard in the foyer, it instigated many conversations with families about the purpose of the cupboard and how it could be used. From these impromptu and incidental conversations, many families began to donate various items to the pantry cupboard, including nappies, clothing, and food. Some families have also committed to regularly contributing to the pantry to give back to others. Another community member has signed up as a weekly volunteer to support an ongoing literacy program.
Conversations also led to a community member linking Our Place with a local clothing warehouse. This connection has now led to the possibility of receiving brand new clothing donations for the cupboard that people will be able to keep and use for occasions such as job interviews.
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside the community for this initiative as well as support the community’s solution-focused ideas and strategies” Tanya, Community Facilitator.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
This is one example of how Our Place’s role of ‘The Glue’ can assist and empower communities. The pantry will not only help families experiencing financial hardship, but it also sends a message that the community cares about each other and is willing to support each other.
This example also aligns with the following Our Place Approach guiding principles:
- Families should have seamless access to education and the support they need.
- Family-centred practice is necessary to achieve change.
- Collaboration and outcome-focused partnerships are critical to success.
- Good decisions are informed by evidence and the voices of the community.
For more information about the Our Place Approach Click Here