Nexus Care, Everton Park – Alleviating poverty in Brisbane

Our society is supposed to be increasingly selfish but we at Village Buzz have found there are plenty of people working to better the lives of those less fortunate than themselves. This time, the thought was sparked by a visit late last year to Nexus Care which is based in Flockton Street, Everton Park.

The organisation is devoted to alleviating poverty in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and beyond. They do this through a number of programs including food relief, life skills coaching and mentoring and a variety of community activities.

Nexus Care manager Josh Plumb welcomed us in between officiating at the organisation's annual community Christmas lunch which was in progress as we arrived.

Pictured: Welcoming Village Buzz to Nexus Care were manager Josh Plumb and volunteers Kathie Boller and Trish Winter.

He explained that one of the cornerstones of the Nexus Care’s effort is the Fresh Start food programme which is on offer to anyone experiencing food insecurity. Membership of the program entitles the recipient to a food parcel each month for three months and can help feed families and individuals while they get back on their feet.

It costs recipients $7 to join the program and the food parcels contain the makings of 60-80 meals. Thanks to community donations Nexus Care contributes around $25 to the cost of each parcel with sponsors and in-kind partners making up the balance.

A nutritionist designed the parcels to provide complete nutrition and they include a booklet of instructions and meal suggestions. The organisation has found, however, that not everyone has the knowledge of food preparation and cooking to make the best use of their parcels.

To solve that they offer free cooking courses several times each month to teach people how to plan and prepare nutritious meals for themselves or their families. The courses fall under the life skills and mentoring programs offered by Nexus Care where, in addition to cooking classes, families and young people can meet with volunteer mentors who can help them overcome obstacles in their lives.

Josh explained that Nexus Care is also very involved in tackling the problems relating to social isolation in the community. They offer regular community morning teas, school holiday programmes and the annual Christmas lunch, among a number of other things.

We were fortunate to be able to chat to Nexus Care volunteers Cathie Boller and Trish Winter who were attending the party. Kathie began as a life skills coach and mentor in 2014 and now works two days a week in the office and delivers the cooking courses.

Pictured: Helping out at the Nexus Care community Christmas party were Nexus Care Community Program Coordinator Megan Micalizzi, left, and hospitality volunteer Jo Grice.

Trish was introduced to Nexus Care when she brought her children along to school holiday activities and she now comes in whenever a helping hand is needed at events and functions. Both ladies stressed how friendly and kind the Nexus Care family is and how much helping out means to them.

They were united in encouraging people with a bit of time on their hands to become volunteers saying that helping other people would be a source of great satisfaction to them.

Applying to join the Food Relief program is as simple as turning up to the Nexus Care office between 10am and 4pm on any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. The office is at Car Park 8 on the Nexus Care campus.

More information on taking advantage of any of Nexus Care's programs, making donations or becoming a volunteer and/or sponsor:

P: (07) 3353 7230


Written by Allan Jackson.

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