Local Deacon makes a long-lasting difference among the disadvantaged

This story was originally published in Anglicare's Church and Community Connections bulletin on Wednesday 12 April 2016 and then republished on the Diocesan website on 13 April.

NorthbourneFor over 20 years, Deacon Robin Moore and a small, very dedicated team have been supporting those on the margin at St Philip's Care, based at the Northbourne Community Centre.

Known as the 'small community centre with a big heart', the Centre provides a free lunch and support on many levels including recreational activities, physical support (such as food and other essentials), and pastoral support for those in the community.

"We have over 50 people attend the lunches each week and since our beginning in 1996, we've served over 64,000 meals" says Robin.

The tiny community centre is located at Northbourne Avenue Flats in Turner. Assistance is given to people in the inner north and city areas, with some coming from further afield. 

"Problems that are found in any city, but tend to be hidden in Canberra's seeming affluence include loneliness, poverty, marginalisation, drug and alcohol addictions, violence, mental and physical illness, and many other forms of disadvantage. These may affect people directly or indirectly" says Robin. 

The Centre provides a soft place to fall. A safe place to talk over problems, but just as importantly to share the good times. There's nothing lonelier than having a funny story to tell but no one to actually tell it to."

Robin has always had a passion and empathy for people doing it tough. While the Centre is open only on Mondays, Robin is often found providing pastoral support to others throughout week. As she says,

"God's world is gloriously messy and endlessly interesting. We care for all of God's creation, and the well-being of pets and other animals and the outdoor areas are all of concern to us."

Robin's ordination as a deacon was warmly received at the centre, with people making the trip to Goulburn to share that wonderful day. That interest continues and leads to many interesting conversations and is a reminder of God's love and constant presence.

The Northbourne Community Centre is open on Mondays from 12:00pm - 5:00pm. If you would like more information or would like to support the work at the Centre, please read the Centre's information page