Di Rooney, Chris Fankhauser, Sharon Wilson and Glenda Serpell.

A BENDIGO based voluntary organisation which supports families in need has called on local businesses to put up their hand and provide them with more space, after outgrowing their current home and being faced with an increasing demand for their services.

Sunshine Bendigo was founded four years ago and re-homes new and pre-loved baby goods and nursery equipment to local families, following referrals from agencies.

They’re currently located in Long Gully at a hall provided by the Uniting Church, and last year alone assisted 391 families and 275 case workers, as well. The service  also  re-homed 1112 items – with those numbers expected to rise.

Founder Glenda Serpell said a larger space to provide the service was needed, after practical challenges for their operation in Long Gully had arisen, primarily in the lack of storage and physical condition.

“Our current home is not really appropriate, it’s too small, it’s not a super good location for accessibility for people, and we just want to lift our profile a little bit, to make people more aware of the work that we do,” she said.

“We fill a need for those people in crisis.”

Ms Serpell said not having the extra space in their current location was a huge concern.

“It is prohibiting our growth, and as because we’re a fully registered charity, not-for-profit organisation, we don’t have an income,” she said.

“Nothing we do is brought or sold. We rely 100 per cent  on
small grants that we procure, and the donations of the public.”

She said that while they would continue their operations until more space, and further funding, could be found – being unable to
expand now could risk the organisation not having the ability to provide for that rise in need.

“We need to keep up with that growth and demand,” Ms Serpell said.

“We don’t need a retail profile, it’s more a space – such as a warehouse and some office space as well.

“I’m sure there is someone out there with a generous heart who wants to give back to the community, and feed into those in need.”

Ms Serpell said that the need for their service was “very real and ongoing.

“We’re there for people who find themselves without the resource to adequately care for the children in their care,” she said.

“The people that come to us are from all different circumstances, but they’re all struggling.

“The need is not getting any less, and as more people realise the service we provide, the more people are coming to light.

The organisation has approached the state government to provide ongoing support, with discussions still ongoing.

Ms Serpell said the organisation was also looking for businesses who may be able to sponsor their work.

To assist, call 0448 356 714, or email sunshinebendigo1@gmail.com

– Sam Kane