Media releases

July 29, 2014

Local initiative to get vulnerable people back on their feet

The Medibank Community Fund (MCF) has awarded a $20,000 community grant to The Salvation Army in Perth, Western Australia.

A community garden will be established at Harry Hunters Rehabilitation Centre for people (past and present) in homeless, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs can come together and support each other, while building relationships with people in the local community.

The garden will raise awareness on issues of homelessness and drug and alcohol addictions and pave the way for sufferers to recovery in a supportive, inclusive environment.

The Salvation Army also aims to develop a monthly community meal and fellowship time for people to experience the joys of growing, harvesting and cooking with their own fresh, seasonal produce.

Medibank State Manager for WA, Andy Bray, said the program embraced the Medibank Community Fund's priorities of promoting healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness -the key selection criteria for the MCF grants program.

"Medibank employees on our Regional Council from across WA, expressed overwhelming support for The Salvation Army's application because their program brings people together in a socially inclusive environment where they can learn new skills, improve their health, make life-long friends and be part of a valuable community project", said Mr Bray.

"The Medibank Community Fund grants program supports local, grassroots initiatives that aim to create a lasting and positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the community and The Salvation Army and its rescue and training program are doing just that".

The Salvation Army's, Keira Swayn, said the community garden will play a vital role in helping to rehabilitate homeless, and drug and alcohol addicted people in Perth.

"By cultivating and growing fruit and vegetables in individual garden beds participants will gain a sense of ownership that will boost their self-esteem and motivate them to care for their produce and more importantly their own health and wellbeing," said Ms Swayn.

The Salvation Army is one of 42 recipients chosen from more than 900 applications across Australia and New Zealand to receive a 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant.

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