Minister Joins Christmas 'Big Give' Celebration

28 December 2014

Minister for Mental Health, Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley, will help serve lunch and distribute gifts to 300 disadvantaged and homeless people and their families today at Fitzroy Town Hall.

More than 110 volunteers will also attend ‘The Big Give’, a seated traditional Christmas meal organised by St Mary’s House of Welcome in Fitzroy.

The Andrews Labor Government has contributed $13,000 for the costs of running this annual event.

St Mary’s House of Welcome provides low-cost and free meals, recreation, emergency relief, social work and a community space for homeless people and people with mental health issues.

The centre lost vital funding under the previous Liberal Government, but the Andrews Labor Government has committed to providing $400,000 a year to restore the centre’s mental health support services.

However, the Minister warns that more services will be at risk if the Abbott Government tears up a national agreement on homelessness, which needs to be renewed on 30 June next year.

At-risk services include two indigenous family violence refuges in regional Victoria, a family violence prevention program for indigenous men, and youth refuges that help more than 500 young people with drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley:

“St Mary’s House of Welcome does such an important job in this community, and the Labor Government is helping the dedicated staff and volunteers do more.”

“We’re donating $13,000 for a Christmas Day lunch for 300 people who would otherwise have gone without, because the little things make a big difference.”

“Many of the volunteers have offered their free time to this wonderful cause for years, and I’m honoured to join them to serve lunch on this special day.”

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Reviewed 19 August 2020

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