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An update on our work in NSW

Monique Perusco is Manager of Social and Community Services in our Western Sydney program.

The Willmot Community Hub is part of Jesuit Social Services’ Western Sydney program and works with local people, organisations, businesses and government to partner with and strengthen communities in the heart of Wilmott. The Hub does this by facilitating a number of groups and events with the community, including a weekly breakfast, after-school program and seniors’ group.

Due to physical distancing restrictions last year, The Hub was unable to hold most of its in-person programming. Older members of the community felt the effects of this in particular as, for many, being part of the seniors’ group was the only regular social interaction they had. This group enjoyed activities such as fitness classes, bus trips and social gatherings.

Despite much anticipation after a year of being apart, their planned Christmas lunch was unable to go ahead last December due to the re-introduction of physical distancing measures in Sydney.

With the easing of restrictions this year, however, The Hub made Christmas happen in February. With the help of parents from Willmot Public School, The Hub brought its senior community back together again for a celebratory, festive lunch – Christmas crackers and all! The community members volunteered to prepare the roast lunch, decorate the table and serve the meal.

The mood was joyful as this group of friends shared stories over good food in a much loved, shared space. Monique Perusco, Manager of Social and Community Services in Western Sydney says, “The seniors in Willmot have a great spirit and they are always keen to come together to celebrate, share news and acknowledge those who are no longer with us. We ate, laughed and planned our next get together.”

The Hub is looking forward to continuing to welcome all community members back for more important bonding moments like this. You can find out more about the Willmot Community Hub and other work we do as part of the Western Sydney Program by visiting www.jss.org.au/westernsydney.