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Take what you need, share what you can in Launceston

Take what you need, share what you can in Launceston

Take what you need, share what you can in Launceston

17 March 2021

The Federal Member for Bass, Bridget Archer (left), visits Danielle, Nathan and Maddie Watkins, standing in front of a recent donation of fresh produce to the Waverley Co-op in Launceston.

By Jessica Morris

When Auxiliary-Lieutenant Roderick Brown stumbled across a news report about a food co-op in the Launceston suburb of Waverley, he knew the Salvos had to get involved. 

Local residents Danielle and Nathan Watkins began leaving fresh produce and groceries on a nature strip as a way to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within a few short weeks, the ‘Waverley Co-op’ was in full swing.

The surrounding community embraced the co-op and began to both contribute to and rely on the items available. And that’s when Roderick and Launceston Salvos Ministry Assistant Kelly Brown raised their hands to help support on behalf of The Salvation Army.

“During the Red Shield Appeal, we prepared about 40 food hampers using staple grocery items and took them to the co-op to be distributed,” Roderick said.The co-op is based on the idea that you take what you need and share what you can and we saw the community, and other services, sharing their food supplies.

As the co-op grew, a community development team called ‘groWaverley’ was formed. Roderick and Kelly were pleased to become part of this team as representatives from Launceston Salvos. This involvement has seen Launceston Salvos continue to support the co-op, not only with food supplies but with items to help promote social inclusion and connection, such as sporting goods, craft kits and kitchen supplies. It has also led to partnering in a number of community-led events aimed at bringing the people of Waverley together.

A considerable barrier in the suburb is the lack of any suitable community meeting place. With Danielle and Nathan’s vision and initiative paving the way, Roderick and Kelly helped pioneer a proposal, granting the community access to an unused parcel of land.

So far, groWaverley has established a community garden and has plans to use the land as the shopfront for the community stall, a multi-purpose community space and a community-operated café.

“We have an opportunity as that space develops to be amongst people,” said Roderick. “We want to see relationships forming and the residents flourish in all areas of their lives, both practically and through organic faith-based conversations.”  

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