COUNTRY South Australians have been urged to take on a personal active challenge and raise money for ac.care as the organisation faces unprecedented demand for homelessness and emergency relief services.

“We are launching the acTIVE.care campaign to encourage anyone to help support vulnerable people by nominating a challenge and timeframe, then setting a target for their fundraising, which will all help provide more support where it is needed most in our communities,” ac.care homelessness and community services manager Trish Spark said.

A shortage of affordable housing, the rising cost of living and summer flooding in the Murraylands and Riverland has led to a growing number of people turning to ac.care’s services for support.

Sadly, the lack of affordable housing has meant the homelessness service has had to resort to tents and other options in some cases to help families and individuals unable to secure stable accommodation.

“We know people share our concerns about the dire need in our communities and now we are making it easier for people to make a difference by participating in the acTIVE.care challenge,” Ms Spark said.

The agency has already supported to close to 400 people in each of its three core regions for homelessness services – the Limestone Coast, Riverland and Murraylands – equating to the number of clients the organisation is funded to assist for the financial year being reached in just over six months.

“The demand for support and strain on our resources is the worst I’ve ever seen it in the 11 years I’ve been here,” Ms Spark said.

“We really need the community’s help to boost our capacity so we can do more and expand the amount of emergency relief we can provide, which is so desperately needed.”

MAKING MOVES: Confession café barista Brooke Jean and Anglican Church of Mount Gambier parish priest Father Neil Fernando will be among the first residents to join ac.care’s acTIVE.care campaign to raise money to support unprecedented demand for homelessness and emergency relief services.

Anyone can visit www.accare.org.au/activecare and sign up, nominate their own challenge and automatically create their own fundraising page to share on social media and support ac.care.

Among the first residents to join the acTIVE.care campaign are Gym Challenge Meals founder Alex Marlow, Anglican Church of Mount Gambier parish priest Father Neil Fernando and Confession cafe barista Brooke Jean.

The trio will each set their own activity goal through the acTIVE.care platform and launch their fundraisers to help support people in need.

Alex plans to step up his workouts at the gym, while Confession will call on the community to rally behind the ‘Brooke 500’ – tasking Brooke with completing 500km on an exercise bike across 30 days.

Fr Fernando’s fundraiser will launch in mid-April with games of table tennis, cards, chess and Carrom at the Christ Church Hall every Saturday from 3pm to 5pm.

Fr Fernando said he hoped the indoor games would create a social outlet for people who may feel isolated, while also raising money for ac.care through donations made by participants.

“You might commit to just walking with family or friends a few times per week, become a regular at the gym or maybe you’re ready to run a marathon,” Ms Spark said.

“It is completely up to the individual, their ability and commitment to set a realistic challenge and start fundraising.”

Just $30 can provide a food hamper for an individual or $50 will help make sure a family has enough to eat for a few days.

Donations of $100 are enough to provide a tent and other supplies to a person experiencing homelessness, while $200 can cover a swag and $250 can provide two nights of emergency accommodation when long-term housing options are temporarily not available.

Ms Spark said these amounts were provided as a guide and local staff would direct funds to the greatest needs for the vulnerable people they work with in regional South Australia.

“People can raise funds individually or as a team – such as a sports group or business – and it is a great way for people to galvanise support from their family, friends and social networks and give back to their community.”

Visit www.accare.org.au/activecare to sign up.

ac.care Locations

ac.care is a dynamic organisation servicing the South Australian communities the Limestone Coast, Murraylands, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Our mission is for all country people to have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships.

Please find our service locations here or use our contact form to request a service.

Mount Gambier
Head office and Foster Care

70-72 White Avenue Mount Gambier, SA 5290
PO Box 1842 Mount Gambier SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Community Centre

22-24 Ferrers Street Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Family Relationship Centre

1 Helen Street (cnr Bay Road) Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday
9am to 5pm
Tuesday
10:30am to 5pm
Wednesday
9am to 5pm
Thursday
9am to 5pm
Later by appt
Friday
9am to 5pm

Berri Community Centre
Servicing the Riverland

5 Kealley Street Street Berri, SA 5343
PO Box 1345 Berri, SA 5343
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Murraylands Centre
Servicing the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula

29 Bridge Street Murray Bridge, SA 5253
PO Box 2090 Murray Bridge, SA 5253
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

Millicent
Community Centre

57-59 George Street Millicent, SA 5280
PO Box 378 Millicent, SA 5280
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
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