About this project
February 2017. 10 members from different departments of Endemol Shine Australia met bright eyed and bushytailed for a day of corporate volunteering at the Salvation Army Streetlevel Mission.
The mission is in the historic and hip suburb of Surry Hills which is near the CBD in Sydney, Australia. Like many inner-city suburbs, Surry Hills is a vibrant neighborhood, where all walks of society intersect, which makes it a diverse and stimulating place. The mission is a place of hope, healing and restoration for anyone and everyone in the community. They achieve this by providing low cost and at times free meals for any member of the community from their cafe, food market for groceries for the most needy, hot showers, laundry machines, lockers for rough sleepers to keep their belongings safe and a place to take refuge and meet other members of the community. They also run an op shop, where they receive clothes, books and other donations where the proceeds go towards providing their services.
To say the least they are a busy hub of activity, providing much needed services for some of our community’s most vulnerable. We were made to feel right at home, and part of the community. We were split into two groups with one group heading to the op shop and the other to the cafe.
In the cafe, they provide low cost breakfast and lunch and on Thursdays they provide a free community lunch were everyone comes together to eat and connect. Since we were there on Thursday, we helped with preparing the roast turkey, roast potato, and carrot lunch. We prepped, cooked and served approx. 50 meals. All food is by donation from companies such as Coles (supermarket), and other not for profit organisations such as Oz Harvest.
They have one full time employee in the cafe, however, they rely heavily on the support of volunteers and corporate volunteers to make it all possible. A highlight of the day was when we were invited to sit down and share the meal with the community and hear their stories and share a laugh.
The other half of the group ventured up to the op shop. The number of donations received by the op shop daily is quite overwhelming. They accept everything from clothing to electronics to children’s toys and furniture. Unfortunately, within the donations, there are a large number of items that are not suitable for sale in the shop. As a group, we sorted through clothing, shoes, books, DVDs and other items to ensure everything that gets put out onto the shelves is of an acceptable quality and standard. We also tidied the back rooms and restored order to the piles and piles of mismatched items that have built up over time. Having the donations sorted into easily accessible piles means re-stocking the shop is easy and safe for the volunteers of the Salvation Army. Without their volunteers the op shop would not be able to run, and it is incredibly rewarding to know that we helped to make their lives a little bit easier, while they are so focused on helping others.
MD Production & Operations
Endemol Shine Australia
42-44 Victoria Street, McMahons Point
NSW 2060 Sydney
One day, 10 volunteers
50 meals cooked & served, and countless clothing items sorted for donations
The day was a great way to connect and see first-hand the vital services that the mission provides. This is a special place where there is no us and them but rather a community whose main aim is to be there to support one another and share this journey.