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The Early Morning Centre - UnitingCare Canberra City
Addressing issues of homelessness

A message from our Director

Dear Friend

I would like to begin with wishing you all a happy spring and to thank all of our supporters, volunteers and donors for their generosity and support during this challenging this year. We welcome spring after the long and cold winter and look forward to the year improving in both weather and suppression and control of COVID. There have been numerous challengers this year with COVID being notably the most prominent and difficult. With that in mind I would like to provide a brief summary of what has been happening at the EMC this year.
The EMC has continued to operate during COVID with our strong commitment to provide services for marginalised and disenfranchised Canberrans. The service delivery model may have changed but the dedication of staff and volunteers to provide services has not and will not change regardless of what the short and long term future holds in regards to the current pandemic.
In late March the breakfast service changed to take away only with this style of service delivery continuing now and into the foreseeable future. This has allowed all of our staff and volunteers to operate in a COVID safe manner reducing, as much as possible, the risk of transmission of this insidious virus.

The Community Hub has also changed service delivery model with access being limited to access for one person at time for crisis assistance such as showers, emergency parcels and mail collection. These limits to access where introduced in late March and continued until the end of June when the Community Hub re-opened for more general access while following the one person per four square metre rule. The Community Hub is now able to have a maximum of 15 people in the centre at any one time with access to crisis assistance continuing, e.g. showers, food parcels etc. with other activities and amenities available that include 30 minute bookings on computers and tables. The EMC has continued to provide access and referral to crisis assistance with housing, health services and other services that have been available through telephone or online help.
We look forward to the coming warmer months and the festive season (yes it is rapidly approaching), and would again like to thank all involved for their ongoing commitment and dedication to making the EMC a great place to work, volunteer and importantly for our guests, a wonderful, friendly place to visit. The smiles and kindness of all our fabulous volunteer team members are greatly appreciated and we couldn’t do it without you all.
Thank you all so much, you are all wonderful.

Take care and stay safe.

Nicole Wiggins
EMC Director
Thank you from the Early Morning Centre - UnitingCare Canberra City

Winter has been a confronting and challenging time for many of our guests as they have adapted to life during a pandemic and all the restrictions that have followed. The EMC is grateful for the ongoing support of its Friends. Thank you especially for the increase in donations to our End of Financial Year appeal. This has assisted us to provide some ongoing services while remaining compliant with current COVID-19 restrictions. We have also received donations such as knitted beanies and scarves, warm clothing, food and now masks to assist with our guests' response to winter and to the ongoing pandemic. Every week someone walks in the door with a bundle - sometimes it's books for our library, often it's a cake or other goodies for our guests to enjoy with a cuppa. Although numbers inside the EMC remain strictly limited, a chat, a slice of home-made cake, a hot drink and a new beanie provide much needed social contact for guests, staff and volunteers. You cake makers know who you are - thank you again - there's nothing like home cooked food.

The Friends of the EMC started 2020 with an ambitious program of fundraising events for the year however they have all been put on hold. One project has been completed and that is the creation of a short film about the EMC by David Jenkins of Ghetto Media. We were planning to launch this film at a Big Breakfast event however that will now have to wait for 2021. Fortunately, the film was deliberately made in a way that will allow it to be used over a number of years without appearing dated. We will let you know when we are able to set a date for this event. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we will not be holding our popular Jazz in the Garden this Spring.

If you are on Facebook, our EMC Facebook page gives up-to-date information about activities at the EMC. Here are some highlights from Winter; we are all looking forward to Spring.

Donation of hand-made beanies from the knitters of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church
Donation of hand-made beanies from the knitters of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church.
One of our guests' pets wearing a cosy winter coat donated by Canberra Pet Rescue
One of our guests' pets wearing a cosy winter coat donated by Canberra Pet Rescue.
John and Cherie wearing hand-made face masks donated by the Tuggeranong Uniting Church
Two of our team members, John and Cherie, wearing hand-made face masks donated by the Tuggeranong Uniting Church.
Donation of hand-made beanies from the Phoenix Knitters
Donation of hand-made beanies from the Phoenix Knitters.
Donation of men's toiletries from the Mothers’ Union - Canberra & Goulburn Dioceses
Donation of men's toiletries from the Mothers’ Union - Canberra & Goulburn Dioceses.

Thanks to these special donors

The Green Shed holds a charity day on the last Wednesday of every month where all money from sales is collected until $10,000 is reached and this is then donated to a local Canberra charity. The EMC was delighted to be the chosen charity in May.

The EMC also received generous donations from the Roger Tall Foundation and the Capital Chemist Group. Thank you all.

EMC Director, Nicole Wiggins, receiving donation from The Green Shed
EMC Director, Nicole Wiggins, receiving donation from The Green Shed.

Pets in the Park is back!

Pets in the Park at the Early Morning Centre is back
We are excited to announce that the Pets in the Park vet clinic is back!
After a few months’ hiatus due to the COVID restrictions, the monthly clinics are back, providing free healthcare for our guests' pets. 
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