Local heroes rewarded to further community work
THREE local heroes have been awarded $10,000 to continue their community work.
Greyhound Adoptions WA volunteer Liz Povah, No Limits Perth co-founder Janine Wood and Share the Dignity volunteer Cathy O’Brien were announced the winners of Whitford City’s Westfield Local Heroes campaign.
Now in its second year, the Westfield Local Heroes program discovers and celebrates individuals and their organisations whose work promotes social wellbeing and connects and enriches their communities.
Earlier this year, the Hillarys centre called for nominations of everyday heroes, with a shortlist of six finalists put to a public vote.
Ms Povah, who is also an educator, was recognised for her idea to introduce three greyhounds to Woodvale Secondary College as companion-therapy dogs for socially isolated children.
Greyhounds are known for their intelligence and even temper and the three dogs – Boots, Rush and Archie – have helped reduce anxiety and stress and improve student engagement over the past two years.
Ms Povah was also instrumental in developing the school’s wellness centre, where students can visit the dogs during their break and learn about mindfulness, relaxation techniques and the power of positive thinking.
Ms Wood co-founded No Limits Perth with two police officers to return hope to people through random acts of kindness.
As a single parent and survivor of domestic violence, she understands the struggle to make ends meet.
The charity redistributes furniture, white goods, linen, toys and food to help people set up a place to live.
Ms Wood recruited volunteers to run the charity and saw the demand for its services treble within four years.
“Our mission is to give everyone a second chance, without judgment and at no cost, and expecting nothing in return,” she said.
Ms O’Brien, who is also an accountant, was so impressed by Share the Dignity’s potential to make a difference in women’s lives that she became a volunteer.
She works devotedly to collect donations of personal hygiene products for women experiencing domestic violence, homelessness or poverty.
She has also established new collection points to increase donations and, as a result, her local area has been able to meet all the charity’s orders.
“By receiving these essential items, women improve their sense of dignity by not having to go without or make do with substitutes,” she said.
Westfield Local Heroes return in February 2020.
Six local heroes recognised