The new home of Cardinia Combined Churches Caring (4Cs) in Pakenham was officially opened today by Deputy Premier and Minister for Emergency Services Peter Ryan and Cardinia Shire Council’s Mayor Councillor George Blenkhorn.
Visiting the new emergency support centre, Mr Ryan thanked the 4Cs staff and army of volunteers for their 14 year history of working with local residents and families in need.
“The 4Cs Foodbank is the primary provider of a wide range of crisis relief services in Cardinia for locals who are doing it tough, including emergency food and material aid, crisis accommodation, counselling, referral and advice services and no-interest loans,” Mr Ryan said.
“The organisation’s team, including 75 volunteers, provides a place of comfort, support and learning to people who are in need.”
Mr Ryan said a rapid increase in demand for emergency relief services provided by 4Cs had highlighted the need for larger premises from which to operate.
“4Cs provides services at the centre to up to 400 clients a week as well as around 150 individuals through outreach programs,” Mr Ryan said.
“This has grown significantly in recent times due to a range of factors including rapid population growth, the global financial crisis, unaffordability of housing and cost of living increases.”
Mr Ryan said the new 500 square metre premises included substantial improvements for clients, staff and volunteers.
“The new facility includes eight offices (up from two), dedicated counselling rooms, a large coolroom, freezing and storage facilities as well as parking facilities for clients, staff and volunteers,” Mr Ryan said.
“These improvements will allow the 4Cs team to provide their quality services with additional privacy and dignity for clients.
“I congratulate the community of Cardinia for supporting this vital organisation and the staff and volunteers who contribute so much to the lives of people who are in need,” Mr Ryan said.