WHEN Theresa Sheppard’s mother banned her from Schoolies week the enterprising 17-year-old came up with a parent-approved plan to go anyway — she would volunteer with her church’s outreach program. So began Mrs Sheppard’s 30-year involvement with community charity Rosie. “During our first two years of Rosies we’d made contact with quite a few homeless people during Schoolies,” Mrs Sheppard said. “When the time came to go we said, ‘Goodbye, see you
next year’ until someone said ‘But what are we going to do — what if we don’t survive until then?’,” Mrs Sheppard said. It wasn’t long before Rosies grew from its Gold Coast base and today 1200 volunteers help 2500 homeless people across Queensland every week. The Gold Coast remains by far the biggest program with 200 volunteers manning the drop-in centre on the corner of Hicks and Davenport streets, Southport, supplying thrice weekly brunches in Baden Powell Park and driving the vans six nights a week.
Mrs Sheppard, who is from Brisbane but has helped establish Rosies across the state as both a volunteer and staff member, said as one of the original crew she was proud of where the charity was today. “We have always been about keeping the issue of homelessness at the front of people’s minds, not hiding it.” While many of the volunteers are still drawn from the Catholic Church, people from all walks of life find themselves wearing the recognisable red shirt and sharing a cup of tea with a person in need.
General manager Andrew O’Brien said while the scale of Rosies had changed dramatically over the years, the ethos had not. “Our primary mission remains to connect with people and share a sense of community and friendship. People come to us to feel a bit better about themselves. We accept them for who they are and where they’re at in life.”
This weekend, Rosies will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a picnic attended by the charity’s patron, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. “My wife and I have supported Rosies for more than a decade, and have seen first hand Rosies’ army of volunteers making a difference on the streets and off the streets,” Sir Peter said.
Past and present volunteers and patrons of Rosies, and their families, are invited to the celebration. It will be held at Eileen Peters Park, Surfers Paradise, on Sunday, at 12.30-3.30pm.
Broncos help Rosies celebrate 30th Birthday – Broncos
For more than three decades Rosies has been helping those doing it tough so let’s help make their 30th birthday one to remember this Friday night when the Broncos take on the Raiders.
You can help the Broncos support the not-for-profit organisation by simply entering the 50/50 Charity Raffle, which last game saw a lucky fan pocket an incredible $11,800!
Rosies provides friends on the street to help create a sense of belonging for those who are homeless, marginalised, or simply lonely.
This heartfelt service provided to Queensland communities is only possible thanks to more than 1,200 Rosies’ volunteers who give up their time to assist others.
Each month 240 Rosies’ teams hit the streets, the courts as well as youth detention and women’s correctional facilities. By sharing their time, a cuppa, a snack, some basic toiletries and blankets, volunteers help those who are socially isolated feel supported. You never know when life may take a turn for the worse.
Rosies’ volunteers do this by being there, night after night, week after week.
On Friday night 60 of these generous volunteers will be at the Broncos vs Raiders game selling tickets in the 50/50 Charity Raffle so make sure you say hello and buy a ticket to support this great cause.
The lucky winner will walk away with half the total ticket sales – the other half is donated to the Brisbane Broncos Charity Fund and Rosies.
50/50 Ticket Prices
3 tickets for $5
7 tickets for $10
16 tickets for $20
45 tickets for $50.
Here are some of our Gold Coast volunteers receiving their certificates for long term service. Not all recipients were able to join us, but they were there in spirit!
The recipients have contributed nearly 500 years of service to Rosies. It was great to see Tom who recently retired from Rosies at age 91. Thank you doesn’t seem enough.
Ceremonies are being rolled out across all our branches during 2017.
Nicole is a 16 year old student at Somerset College. Nicole’s school project was aimed at developing her, somewhat lacking but much needed, skill of cooking. She decided that developing a cook book which went beyond toast and cereal would enable her to learn more about food and also learn the pleasure of cooking.
She said her task was to ”collect one recipe representative of each country around the world and then select one country to represent each letter of the alphabet.” She then challenged herself to cook each dish and let her family be the judge of her efforts. “It has been one of the best experiences of my life seeing how food can bring people together, both in happiness and, only very occasionally, in unintended disgust.”
Nicole again extended her task. She said, “I wanted to make an impact on my community with my book so I decided to sell it with the funds going to a charity which reflected my goal of helping others in need.” Nicole had some knowledge of Rosies through her school so did some further research and found that “Rosies sense of humanitarianism stood out from the rest”.
Nicole said, “I am hopeful that giving my time in creating this recipe book and sharing among others heightens the aspect of bringing people together and helping people less fortunate. To make a positive difference in this world is what I had hoped to achieve and through Rosies I was able to do that”.
Our team on the Gold Coast have clearly noticed an increase in the number of homeless people especially in the last two years. Homelessness can be driven by drugs, alcohol, the lack of affordable housing, mental health issues… “It’s just a huge problem’’, Rosies Gold Coast branch coordinator Wendy recently declared at a number of key events. We are very thankful for the support we receive from the community including local partners such as LJ Hooker who nominated Rosies for the second consecutive year at their Gold Coast Turf Club’s Stakes Day. Thank you!
Rosies was the charity of choice at the Viva Festival in Surfers Paradise on Sunday, 10 July. Thanks Elvis and the Gospel Choir for an extremely uplifting morning. Thank you to everyone who donated, we raised over $1,000.This amount will keep one of our Rosies’ street outreach vans running for a month. Thank you also to the Surfers Paradise Alliance for nominating Rosies as a charity of choice for your wonderful events.
It has been a ritual for the last 29 years. Rosies is the longest serving community organisation at the schoolies safety program. We collaborate with State Government and Gold Coast City Council’s comprehensive safety and support program to make Schoolies Week as safe as possible. About 50 Rosies volunteers have signed up to a renamed Schoolies Rest & Recharge Zone outreach. Our teams will be present each night until midnight over the week long celebration (19-25 November). Rosies will provide free mobile water supply while interacting and reassuring teenagers. Our volunteers are trained to respond to offer support, information and refer to other services if need be. The Rest and Recharge Zone is a place where teenagers can sit, relax, and recharge.
Rosies Rest & Recharge Schoolies outreach at Gold Coast Schoolies Week 19-25 Nov
Ben Begg from St Andrew’s Lutheran College on the Gold Coast made an amazing plea to support Rosies and our many friends. The 17 year old had previously taken part in our Student Engagement Program on the Gold Coast with his college.
“Last year I went to Southport on a Friday night as a volunteer with my teacher Graeme Schache and Rosies. I saw that what we did, although it seems at first a small and simple thing, had a very big impact on the homeless community and I thought there might be a way to support this.”
The highly motivated student seized the opportunity to improve the well-being of the local homeless population as a member of the Leo’s Club, a school organisation related to Lions Club. Ben pledged to make a difference and successfully obtained a $5,000 grant in support of Rosies and our many friends on the street. The money was allocated to purchase backpack beds and a fridge for our Southport drop in centre.
“I wouldn’t say I’m selfless, I’m just grateful to have a chance like this to help out and hopefully make someone’s life just that little bit better.”
To all students who take part in the Rosies’ Student Engagement Program, Ben advises to appreciate the difference each and all of them make just by being present.
“Just have fun with it, the Rosies members are very experienced and will help you if you feel a bit out of your depth. It’s a great time and you have pretty entertaining conversations with a lot of different people. You’d be amazed at how much a little visit with some good food and a chat can help.”
A big thank you to Cross Promotions International for recently leading a food drive to support our Gold Coast branch as supplies were extremely low. Thank you so much to every single one of you in the local Gold Coast community for your support. Friends and strangers alike walked through the doors of our Southport Drop-in centre to provide tinned goods and hygiene products.
Local students joined the effort by conducting their very own fundraiser events. You made a difference.
Our branch coordinator, Wendy Coe, will be a guest panelist at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. Wendy’s wealth of knowledge about issues affecting homelessness is highly regarded.
Our Rosies ‘angels’ have been devoutly offering refreshments, snacks, and friendship at our Southport Magistrates Court Outreach for nearly 25 years.
Rosies volunteers provide comfort and smiles, and a haven in a sometimes tense environment. Smiles can unexpectedly be seen on faces of those visiting what is known as the ‘tea and sympathy room’ located on the second floor of the building.
Everyone is welcome to join and share a cuppa, bite to eat, and a chat with our volunteers. In the words of one of our longest serving volunteer ‘angels’….
‘We meet plaintiffs and defendants and witness, families, and friends, lawyers and barristers, court staff and security officers. Everyone is equal. all can sit next to to each other sharing the simple joy of a conversation while enjoying sweets and savouries. People walk in and share their stories. They feel relieved to talk through what they are going through whether it is a win, a loss, or an ongoing dispute. The room is like a little gem shining from smiles and laughs. Worries are not permitted and compassion is shared. It does not seem to be much. Yet, it makes a world of a difference.’
Rosies is pleased to confirm, thanks to the support and goodwill of all involved, that our angels recently relocated to a new area within the Southport Magistrates Court to continue their wonderful work.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Beenleigh Court Angels for all their wonderful work
Over 95% of Rosies work, including this court outreach, is funded through kind donations from our local community. Find out how you can get involved.