Volunteers, business and community support a major reason for Emerge’s success

News & Events

Volunteers, business and community support a major reason for Emerge’s success

December 7, 2020

The past year has been like no other but as far as Paula Westhead, Executive Officer is concerned, much of the success in continuing through lockdown and coping with coronavirus has been due to the largesse of volunteers, the community and business.

“Everywhere we turned, we had offers of help, donations and in-kind support. It has been overwhelming,” Paula said.

Over the past year Emerge has had 45 volunteers working across the organisation, clocking up over 1,124 hours. They include 12 volunteers working with families in a variety of ways including tutoring, being language assistants; working in courts looking after children while their mothers finalise legal issues; packing Christmas hampers, carrying out craft work with mothers and children, and helping move into the refuge and Emerge’s new office.

Business, too, has played a big heart part in supporting Emerge in every aspect of its work, and especially with the opening of the refuge in May.

“We were overwhelmed with the generosity of furniture and soft furnishings that we received from Temple and Webster, Freedom, and Domayne. The furniture has gone into our refuge, intake and counselling rooms for women and children and crisis properties,” Paula said

Other support has come from Noomi who donated bean bags, bean bag couches and pillows for use in our counselling rooms and at refuge. Sleepsafe donated sheet sets and bath towels for refuge and our other properties. Builder Total Construction donated the play equipment at the refuge.

“We thank our sponsor Marco Polo for its ongoing support,” Paula said.

Community involvement, too, has been extraordinary with one Family Foundation generously donating $15,000 to enable us to provide healing spaces in our refuge and office.

“My thanks to our regular donors whose donations make a major difference to our services and the different opportunities we offer families living in refuge and the community, we could not do it without you,” Paula said.

These supporters include: Next Steps; Rotary and Lions clubs and their donations of time and funds; Good 360; The Nappie Collective; Period Project, food packages from local churches, Quilting Group; Fareshare; St Kilda Mums; Aesop and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

Special mention also goes to 123Read2Me for donating over 450 children’s books plus puzzles and soft toys to us and StoryCycle. We thank Impact for their ongoing support at Christmas and Mother’s Day when they donate bags of love filled with donations of practical and fun supplies including toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitiser and moisturiser. This year, for the first time, women were treated to meals prepared by Quat Quatta, the Ripponlea wedding venue.


Experiencing family violence? Click below to make a plan that works for you.

Go to safety plan