Dave Hammond (centre) and staff from the Jesuit Social Services Ignite Food Store in Mount Druitt

This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary of working in New South Wales.

Over the past decade, we have delivered a range of initiatives to communities in Mt Druitt and Emerton including the Ignite Food Store and Op Shop, and more recently we have taken a lead role in the revitalisation of the Willmot Community Hub.

The reason for the growth, says General Manager of Western Sydney Dave Hammond, has been the generous support of groups such as Our Lady of the Way Parish in North Sydney.

“The partnership with Our Lady of the Way parish has been of profound help to Jesuit Social Services in being able to remain deeply connected to the people of Mt Druitt,” he says.

“Through food and clothing donations, volunteers and critical financial support we have worked together side-by-side in one of Sydney’s most challenging areas.”

Trish Martin, from the Our Lady of the Way parish, says that parishioners regularly donate groceries to the Ignite Food Store and household items to the Op Shop.

“At Christmas time we donated lots of toys, books, hampers and Christmas food – it is wonderful to know that these donations make a real difference to families in Western Sydney,” says Trish.

“Our parishioners are really committed to the cause and find it incredibly worthwhile being involved with Jesuit Social Services.”

Dave Hammond says the parish also raised close to $13,000 as part of its Christmas appeal “to help make Christmas a wonderful time in Willmot”.

“It is hard to truly estimate the full meaning of this partnership, the physical help is obviously profound but it is also the supportive friendships that have grown,” he says.

“Knowing that so many people have such a commitment to the people of Mt Druitt gives our team a wonderful sense of community.”

To find out about the many ways your parish or community group can support our work, please contact Erin Hunter – erin.hunter@jss.org.au