Salvation Army Hope Centre opens in Port Stephens Drive, Anna Bay

Some will come to learn a new skill, others to share their knowledge. Some will come to serve, others to receive. Some will come in need, others will come with abundance.

This is just a glimpse of what the newly opened Salvation Army Hope Centre, located on Port Stephens Drive in Anna Bay, is offering to the people of Port Stephens.

The centre was opened on May 19 by Lt. Col Miriam Gluyas, the divisional commander of the NSW/ACT Division of the Salvation Army, and Port businessman Mike Pearce.

It was Mike's parents Tom and Rose Pearce who gave a generous bequest to the Salvation Army to be used on the Tomaree peninsula. Chairperson of the Red Shield Appeal, Sally Dover, was also in attendance

Port Stephens Envoy Howard Koutnik said that "without this legacy, we would not have this building and we are very grateful".

"The purpose of this centre is to bring hope into our community, and we want to work with others for this purpose. We know that many people will be impacted through the Hope Centre, and many who will contribute to its success," Envoy Koutnik said.

"Community members have already donated tools and equipment for the training room, which aims to see lives transformed from hopelessness to hope through learning basic practical life skills, such as how to manage money, or how to cook nutritious budget meals.

"The room, which will also host group activities, support and interest groups, will also be available for hire."

Envoy Koutnik said that the clothes sorting bay was up and running, linked with the Salvation Army's Family Store in Salamander Bay, which is also the centre for the group's welfare relief.

"Coming soon will be the woodworking and metal recycling bays. We have a small team of volunteers and need more," he added.

"The centre's supervisor Gail Leadbeatter has done a lot of hard work creating the facility which we see as providing a valuable service for years to come."

Envoy Sandra Koutnik said that the word 'hope' meant "joyful expectation".

"Can you imagine what it will be like to be part of a "joyful expectation" centre? Can you imagine what it would be like for people within our community to first catch a glimmer of hope, and then find their lives transformed into joyful expectation?"

The Hope Centre is currently open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.