MORNINGTON Community Support Centre has celebrated 40 years of service to the local community and paid tribute to its founders at a special event at the Main Street centre.
Established as a citizen’s advice bureau, the centre evolved into the broader community-focussed Mornington Community Support Centre, providing practical and personal support for people in need.
The centre’s scope ranges from a coffee and toast in the meeting room cafe to advice and help on financial matters, finding somewhere to live, or handing over groceries under its fresh food program.
The inaugural centre manager, the late Helen Hendry OAM, was represented by her daughter Mary. Founding committee members Margaret McArthur and Dale Lee were presented with 40-year certificates of volunteer service by CEO Ben Smith.
Margaret McArthur said her commitment to making a difference in people’s lives remained as strong now as it had been when she helped establish the centre 40 years ago.
“It’s special because this place has kept evolving to the needs of the community. People are so grateful for the help we provide – from a cup of tea, or a meal or other assistance – and they are so grateful,” she said.
“I look forward to coming in because I feel like I’m doing something useful. I’m 90 and they keep telling me I’m still useful. So, I’ll stay for as long as I can keep helping people.”
Smith said the centre had delivered more than 261,000 hours of volunteer community service with a value of more than $12 million.
“Your participation, vision, determination, advocacy, leadership, and support make this all possible. Together, we will continue on our journey as people and a community who care, and we won’t stop,” he said.
Mornington Community Support Centre, 320 Main Street, Mornington opens 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday. The fresh food program operates from St Marks Uniting Church on Thursday mornings and the Beach End Op/Shop is open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturdays.