More Helpers Needed – Rosies

Since 1987, it’s been the charity godsend to the homeless and disadvantaged in the heart of the Ipswich CBD, and now the call is out because it needs your help, writes Darren Hallesy.

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Every Wednesday and Thursday evening, Rosies’ vans pull up near the Ipswich Nature Centre, giving homeless people something to eat, something to drink and, in partnership with Orange Sky, the chance to have a hot shower and wash clothes.

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For many, it is the chance just to have a chat with people who care, and now with the pandemic in full effect, the charity is looking for helpers.

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The Ipswich branch is run by Barry Rienecker, who has been a volunteer with Rosies since 2014. It was ironic that when Local Ipswich News caught up with him, it was pouring with rain on a wet Australia Day afternoon.

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“That’s our motto, we are here rain or shine without fail,” Barry said while setting up shelter for those who had turned up to get support.

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“At the moment, we are down on volunteers because of the pandemic.

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“People are forced to stay home and stay safe, which is the right thing to do.

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“We could use about half a dozen volunteers. All they need to commit to is one four-hour shift just once a month, and be willing to apply for a blue card.

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“We work alongside other groups to give out food, but our role is to make people feel welcome.

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“They are people just like us, and they deserve respect. They come here because it’s a nice big space, there are support groups nearby, and they aren’t in the CBD where people walk past and judge them.”

Barry has volunteered in Ipswich for many years, and said that if you thought you didn’t have time to do so, then perhaps maybe you do?

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“Unless it’s absolutely storming, we are always here on a Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.

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“Volunteering is something I’ve always done, and my advice to anyone is that we all have priorities.

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“If you make time to watch the news each night, then maybe you have time to volunteer to help others.

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“I always have got something back from volunteering, it’s very rewarding.”

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If you can help Rosies, visit www.rosies.org.au

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