Hub helps ease cost of living

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Hub helps ease cost of living

Mulga Street Primary School officially opened a dedicated hub this week to help with those within the school community struggling financially amid the current cost of living crisis.

The Mulga Street Hub provides low-cost groceries and secondhand school clothing, free casual clothing, shoes, school bags, manchester and pet goods.

The dedicated service has been made possible through a grant from OneFortyOne, which provided additional hard work behind the scenes to get the project up and running after around 12 months in the renovation stages.

The space is being used by OneFortyOne as a model to potentially help other schools in the community provide their own support hubs.

Mulga Street Primary School student wellbeing leader Keston Green said the hub was a much-needed space for the school community.

“Even if you’re working the cost of living is just enormous; petrol and sporting and food, just everything,” she said.

“I think we’re just extremely grateful for the generosity of everybody who has been involved, because without everybody’s support there is no way we would have been able to get it up and running.

“The Mount Gambier community itself has just been amazing … we have been pretty lucky.

“There is also the ongoing support … through Foodbank, Rapid Relief Team are amazing, the Animal Rescue Cooperative supply some items for pets because we know that’s always expensive and Four Reasons Why continue to be an ongoing support as well.

“For other schools to have a similar project or similar space will be just as supportive for their community.”

Mrs Green said the service evolved from a small space in the front office which she felt was not as discreet.

“The original idea has come from when COVID initially hit with what the needs of the community required,” she said.

“It started off with something that was really little to then have grown into something that we’re extremely proud of.

“Not only has it helped with the stresses of the rising cost of everything, but it has also supported more attendance, because if we can get parents here to have a coffee and a chat we can get kids into school, which then supports their learning.”

Mulga Street Primary School principal Anna Copping said the building was already available but required renovation for the project.

“Because it is a little bit removed from the school people do not feel like they’re walking into the school (grounds) to use the services, it’s a bit more private for them,” she said.

“It has been really useful in being able to connect our families with services outside of the school too.

“We have Trudi here from Four Reasons Why who is our pastoral care worker and we have a social worker here as well that can work with families to provide them with assistance outside of what the school can do so it’s a holistic approach to supporting our families.”

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