Port Stephens volunteers benefit from minister Ray Williams visit

Port Stephens volunteers were congratulated and some groups received funds from the Minister for Volunteering during a visit last Friday.

Ray Williams was joined by the newly endorsed Liberal Party candidate and Port Stephens councillor Jaimie Abbott on a tour across the LGA on August 24 where he met with volunteer organisations in Raymond Terrace and the Bay.

At his first stop, Mr Williams granted Thou-Walla Family Centre’s sewing group $1000 which spokeswoman Gina Ascott-Evans said would allow it to “deliver this important program to the community”.

“When we first started, the Benevolent Society kindly donated the sewing machines,” Ms Ascott-Evans said. “We’re very grateful for the funding from the NSW Government.”

Ms Abbott said she was pleased the NSW Government had supported the group.

“The sewing group began last year and has been supported by volunteers and donations,” Ms Abbott said. “The group contributes so much to our community. They have been making sensory pillows for children with special needs and beanbags for the local library.”

Mr Williams granted Raymond Terrace Salvation Army $5000, which will go into the Rural Support Fund.

Envoy Ron Petterson, the rural chaplain for the Lower Hunter, said the money would be used to support drought-stressed farmers.

Mr Williams then presented certificates of appreciation to the Terrace Salvation Army centre’s volunteers.

Salvation Army Auxiliary-Lieutenant, Tracy Iles, said members and volunteers work on the ground day and night to bring hope to those who need it most.

“Our volunteers are integral to the activities we carry out to make stronger communities,” Ms Iles said.

At Fingal Bay Surf Life Saving Club, Mr Williams presented members $1500 to be used to buy new rescue equipment.

He and Ms Abbott also visited Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY) and Tomaree Youth Community Action (TYCA).