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The Early Morning Centre - Canberra City - Addressing Issues of Homelessness
Addressing issues of homelessness

In this update

Happy Christmas to all the Friends and supporters of the EMC and best wishes for 2020. The EMC has had a busy and successful year introducing new services while continuing to provide all the essentials for which we are well-known. Thank you for your support; we look forward to next year. 

Canberra Homeless Connect

Canberra Homeless Connect - Early Morning Centre EMC - UnitingCare Canberra City
Homeless Connect is a one-stop-shop for people in the community who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The event focuses on the wellbeing and protection of vulnerable people by connecting them with service providers and a supportive community.

Canberra Homeless Connect 2019 was held at the EMC on Thursday, 17 October, during Anti-Poverty Week.

We are proud to say the event was a huge success! We had 175 guests attend the event with 40 community service organisations who came together on the day. Over 500 brand new items of clothing, 200 snags, 97 haircuts, over 50 care packages, 80 toiletry packs and lots more were provided throughout the day, all at no charge. Read more…

Jazz in the Garden

Jazz in the Garden 2019 fundraiser for the Early Morning Centre EMC - UnitingCare Canberra City

Once again we had a very entertaining afternoon of jazz and good food in Donna Stewart's beautiful spring garden.

This year Geoff Page's jazz band featured Paul Herbert on flute and harmonica, Oscar Bosman on saxophone, Geoff Page on vibraphone, Gary Floyd on guitar and vocals, Lesley James on piano, Ben Loudon on bass and Allan Pennicooke on drums. Our very warm thanks go to all of them and of course to Donna.

We raised nearly $2,000 for the EMC. If you missed out this year, make sure you come next year.

Jazz in the Garden 2019 fundraiser for the Early Morning Centre EMC - UnitingCare Canberra City
Geoff Page's Charity Jazz Band at Jazz in the Garden 2019

Governor-General visit

on International Volunteer Day

The Governor-General visited the Early Morning Centre in recognition of International Volunteer Day, on Thursday, 5 December 2019.
Their Excellencies General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Mrs Hurley assisted our volunteers to serve breakfast, spoke with guests and volunteers, and took a tour of the centre. We are very grateful to the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley for helping us celebrate the incredible work of our volunteers!

Governor-General serving food to guests
Governor-General talking with volunteer, Margaret Watt
Mrs Hurley serving food to guests
Governor-General chatting with guest

Guest Christmas Party

On Tuesday, 10 December we held our annual Christmas party for our guests. Over 80 guests enjoyed a two-course feast in the Riley Hall with food provided by Greenhills Conference Centre including desserts made by Nicole Lawder MLA and her team.

Other volunteers on the day included members of St Michaels Egyptian Coptic Church, staff from ACT Housing and Homelessness Services as well as guests and previous guests.

Wonderful Christmas hampers were provided by St Michaels and by HelpingACT. As well as the hampers there were lots of lucky door prizes to add to the fun. Thanks to all who helped out; everyone had a great time! 
Mohammed Ali preparing Christmas hampers for guests
Mohammed Ali of HelpingACT and volunteers preparing 100 Christmas hampers

Volunteers needed

Arts & Crafts volunteers
Each Friday the EMC holds an art and craft session for guests from 9am until 1pm. We would love anyone interested in assisting our guests with small, easy to do art or craft projects to come along for an hour or two each Friday or even the occasional Friday.

Great artistic skills are not needed, just an interest and desire to participate and facilitate the group. EMC staff are available to help out with ideas for small projects and we have a well-stocked cupboard of paints, beads and other miscellaneous craft items. We also have the opportunity to get additional supplies from sponsors.

If you are interested or know anyone who may be, please contact Nicole who will be able to provide additional information -

Volunteers needed

Computer Club volunteers
We also need a volunteer to help fortnightly on a Thursday morning with the Computer Club. Guests need guidance with accessing emails on their phones and/or tablets; watching movies; using Facebook and other social media and doing internet searches. 

If you are interested or know anyone who may be, please contact Nicole who will be able to provide additional information -

Congratulations to Sia

Congratulations to our breakfast volunteer and star Raiders player Sia Soliola on winning the NRL's 2019 Ken Stephen medal. This medal recognises achievement on and off the field.

As well as volunteering at the EMC, Sia has long associations with many other charities including Menslink. Sia brought his medal to our end of footy season BBQ and was happy to share it with our guests, staff and volunteers.

Goodbye, Jade, and hello, Daisy

We were sorry to say goodbye to our staff member Jade but are excited for her as she heads off on maternity leave. We said goodbye at a happy lunchtime BBQ. Jade has been replaced by Daisy and guests look forward to sampling her cooking skills.

New stove for the kitchen

Our regular cooking classes are benefiting from our new state-of-the-art oven and stove. Recently guests have learnt to cook sweet and savoury rolls, and chicken curry with rice.

The new stove is also being well used for our lunches. It's extra wide which helps when cooking for large numbers. Recent lunches have included fried rice, beef and vegetable boeuf melange, ham and mushroom pasta, roast pork and roast chicken sandwiches. The menus are as varied as the food that is delivered every week from OzHarvest. Thanks again, OzHarvest.

September snapshot

September 2019 snapshot of services - Early Morning Centre EMC - UnitingCare Canberra City

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