Some things cannot be taken for granted

July 17, 2017

Echuca Neighbourhood House manager Shan Keele pictured with merely a third of the toiletry donations she has received.

SHOWERING is something a lot of us take for granted— from smelling nice to making yourself feel better after a hard day.

But what if you didn’t have access to a shower?

Today marks the first day people suffering from homelessness in the Campaspe region will have access to free showers.

The new Echuca Neighbourhood House (ENH) initiative means showers are available from 10.30am to 11.30am every Monday and Thursday at the Echuca Basketball Stadium.

ENH manager Shan Keele said the community response has been heart warming.

‘‘It’s been incredible, absolutely incredible,’’ she said.

‘‘We have been overwhelmed with donations of toiletries and volunteers wanting to get involved to help man the showers.

‘‘It was something I hoped the community would get behind to look after their own and they have and it’s beautiful.’’

Shan said she knows there are people who would use the service but it might take some time before they come down to the basketball stadium.

‘‘We are just offering a shower with no catches, people who come in don’t even have to talk if they don’t want to — but if they would like help then of course we are there,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t expect too many people the first few times, it might take some time to spread the word.

‘‘I just want to thank the Campaspe Shire, local businesses, organisations and the community for getting involved — we couldn’t supply the toiletry packs without you.’’

This new service could help more than 380 people according to Anglicare Victoria.

An Anglicare spokesperson said in the last financial year, Anglicare Victoria’s St Luke’s region has assisted approximately 388 individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Campaspe area.

Donations of soap, travel size shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, sanitary items, toothbrushes, toothpaste, kickers, jocks and socks are still wanted.

If you would like to volunteer to set up, greet people, hand out packs and packing up afterwards —shifts are for approximately 2 hours in total.

The Riv office at 270 Hare Street and ENH at 261 High Stare are collection points for donations.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this new service, phone ENH on 5482 6914.

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