HELPING HAND: WCCS CEO Carmen Bekker with a photograph of the many toys donated to the centre’s women’s refuge this week by Whitsunday resident Michelle Davison.
HELPING HAND: WCCS CEO Carmen Bekker with a photograph of the many toys donated to the centre’s women’s refuge this week by Whitsunday resident Michelle Davison.

Donation to help kids in refuge

THE sun has been shining on the Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service (WCCS) in recent weeks where vital funding has been confirmed and a kind donation of toys for the centre's women's refuge has been received.

WCCS chief executive officer Carmen Bekker said funding had been secured for the centre's sexual violence support program, via the Queensland Government's Department of Communities.

"In fact all of our programs have retained their current funding levels," Ms Bekker said.

Like many other community service providers, Ms Bekker said WCCS had experienced its share of funding cuts in the past 12 months.

"But WCCS has been fortunate in that it did not result in permanent job losses," she said.

"We've managed to retain all our programs and all our permanent staff and we'll continue to provide services throughout the wider Whitsunday council region."

The icing on this good-news cake was the receipt of toys worth $212.61, donated by Whitsunday resident Michelle Davison.

On June 27, Ms Davison went to Centro's Big W looking to lay-by some toys for a Christmas appeal, but she decided to buy the toys and donate them to the crisis centre's women's refuge instead.

Ms Davison, who often looks for opportunities to put smiles on strangers' faces, says she does so because "it makes such a big difference". Ms Bekker couldn't thank her enough.

"We do have a local safe house for women and children and funding supports only the operational costs not extras, so things like toys and clothes [are not funded for]," she said.

"We've had as many as 17 children in that refuge, mostly under the age of seven, so we go through a lot of toys. They get used constantly."


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