2 days/6 locations: How 200 young people gave Anglicare a makeover

Article Written by Hannah McQuiggin, Anglicare

Throughout the April school holidays, over 200 young people attended the Soul Survivor ‘More than a Song’ camp-conference in Canberra. 

Anglicare was a partner of the event, which saw young people express their faith in action by supporting Anglicare’s services through gardening, painting and cleaning projects over two afternoons. 

“We were so excited to partner with Soul Survivor and see the enthusiasm of the young people to express God’s love in action,” said The Revd Dr Ian Coutts, General Manager, Mission & Community Development.

A number of Anglicare’s services underwent transformation, including Disability Services in Holt, Calwell and Gordon Early Childhood Centres, Brindabella Court and St David’s Close Retirement Villages, and the St Benedict's Community Day Centre in Queanbeyan. 

The campers assisted the residents at St David’s Close with gardening, car-washing, and a mammoth landscaping project. They cleared a wild ‘jungle’ area at the rear of the church/village community room in preparation for a new garden that will be planted there.

“The students are to be congratulated for a magnificent job that is greatly appreciated by Anglicare, St David’s congregation and village residents,” said Retirement Villages Manager John Vilskersts. “Their motivation, attitude and willingness not only brought a lot of cheer to the villages but is a credit to every one of them”.

Meanwhile Disability Services in Holt received a complete sensory garden makeover. 

“We are so thankful for the work of Soul Survivor. Our outdoor area previously didn’t meet the individual needs of the people we support and wasn’t reaching its full potential” said Margaret Hennessey, Coordinator in the Community Holt Disability Services. 
“Now the outdoor area looks great! Our clients loved working alongside the campers and they now have ownership of their space” said Margaret.

Along with the projects, Anglicare’s Ian Coutts and Hannah McQuiggin had the opportunity to speak to the campers about the work of Anglicare.

“Soul Survivor was a great experience and I believe that together we will be able to make a difference in the lives of some of the vulnerable people in our community” said Revd Dr Coutts.

Deb Stanley

Canberra, ACT, Australia

Deb started working with Soul Survivor in 2008 and now lives in Canberra, where she leads Soul Survivor ACT and also looks after the worship teams at soul.conference. Deb finished her degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 2011 and is studying at Morling College.