Monday, 15 May 2023
Hutt Street Centre Service Awards Reception
Rod and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House during National Volunteers Week to honour the volunteers who are so vital to the Hutt Street Centre’s work.
The theme for this year’s National Volunteer week is “Celebrating the Change Makers” and as your patron, I do so with heartfelt appreciation.
Because you are change makers.
As volunteers you give of yourselves to help empower people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness to rebuild their lives, rediscover their identities and re-establish relationships with those who love them.
That sense of purpose was evident to Rod and me when we visited the Hutt Street Centre.
In helping to prepare food, we could meet people and feel their sense of purpose.
As we walked alongside volunteers and clients in the Walk a Mile in my Boots Challenge, we heard uplifting stories of how lives had been turned around. Personal stories told with meaning and gratitude.
Such experiences gave us a sense of the hope that the Hutt Street Centre brings to people’s lives, at a critical time when they need it the most.
I thank the Hutt Street Centre for not only being there when crisis hits – by providing hot showers, clothes and toiletries, nutritious meals, access to health and financial support.
But also for helping to building relationships, resilience, and independence. For rebuilding lives.
Thank you for doing so for 69 years.
As volunteers you are the heart and soul of the Hutt Street Centre.
It takes a special person to stand up and take action to apply their time and skills to assist others.
Thank you for being that person. Thank you to the nearly 300 volunteers who are part of the Hutt Street Centre family.
I especially thank those who are being honoured today with long service awards.
Your community service comes at a time when it is ever-more needed.
Against the current backdrop of the soaring cost of living, where many people are struggling to put food on the table, pay bills or put a roof over their heads, it is sobering to know that Hutt Street has experienced a 27% rise in the need for essential health and wellbeing support over the past year.
And on 18 April, the Centre experienced its busiest single day on record when 175 people walked through its doors. It was the third time the record was broken so far this year.
Thankfully in the past year 2,213 people at risk of or experiencing homelessness have found the chance for a fresh start when they walked through that door.
As Governor, I count it a privilege that in my community roles I can promote the values and ideals that support a strong and caring South Australia.
Thank you all for playing your part in building such a community and ensuring the Hutt Street Centre will be there to offer a warm welcome and a helping hand.
Thank you for walking “alongside people on their journey to homefulness”.