Launching the the Allan Kennedy Helping Hands Program was a particularly special occasion.
It is named after one of the hardest working volunteers on the Southside and is designed to help socially isolated residents on the Southside
Allan Kennedy volunteered with the Annerley Friendship Club for over 15 years. Often described by Club members as the “go to” person, Allan was someone who was the first to arrive at the Friendship Club and last to leave.
It took someone like Allan to put in the personal love, care, attention and dedication to be there. To turn up and be a friend, helping those who are most isolated in the community.
Earlier this year I hosted the Griffith Australia Day Awards. Allan was appropriately recognised for his service to the Southside Community, but sadly passed away before he could receive his Award. In recognition of his work with socially isolated residents, I decided that we should capture, make real and expand the work he did.
Through my office we are regularly visiting residents in the community who are socially isolated. Not only will our staff provide morning tea, but will also deliver a care package. This care package is supported by local businesses and includes the local paper, tea, coffee and easy to make meals.
We also include stamps and writing tools so these residents have another way of connecting with their families and friends if they can’t leave the home.
The whole idea is to take Allan’s idea and grow it across the community. I hope others follow this model which recognises the spirit of Allan Kennedy in the community as well.