Cannington: Santa’s Workshop still homeless as Christmas looms

Santa's Workshop vice president Pablo Manalac and workshop supervisor Jimmy Babaeff at work, making Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children.
Picture: David Baylis
Santa's Workshop vice president Pablo Manalac and workshop supervisor Jimmy Babaeff at work, making Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children. Picture: David Baylis

VOLUNTEERS behind Cannington’s soon-to-be-homeless Santa’s Workshop have applied to make their group a charitable organisation – so that their future as a recycler and builder of toys for disadvantaged children does not have to be tied to a principal sponsor.

At a time when the not-for-profit group is marking 20 years in the Cannington community it has had its funding cut by welfare organisation Outcare, which had its own funding cut earlier this year.

The loss of that money and the arrangement with Outcare means the group will also lose their headquarters at Sevenoaks Senior College in Cannington from December 13.

Vice president Pablo Manalac told Canning Times the 40 volunteers were looking for a 350sqm facility close to public transport and $25,000 to fund an operating budget for what they are calling the new Santa’s Workshop.

“We are being more flexible now,” he said.

“We will work with anyone who can offer us a place.”

A 108-signature petition has been submitted to Canning City Council requesting assistance to find a new home for the workshop and their charitable operation.

Mr Manalac made a further appeal for support at last week’s council meeting, where he asked specifically about the short-term availability of Canning Tennis Club and South Bentley Community Centre.

“A couple of years here would buy time for Santa’s Workshop to find a more permanent place,” he said.

Canning Community and Commercial director Garry Adams said the council had attempted to find a facility that matched the group’s needs but there were none available.

He added that council staff had also suggested other organisations that might be able to help.

The plight is such that Mr Manalac, who is preparing for a four-week European holiday, will seek divine intervention as well as community help.

“We are chasing the northern lights and we will also be praying in Rome for Santa’s Workshop,” he said.

  • Anyone who may be able to help can email santaswa@hotmail.com or phone representatives Lynn on 9450 2047 or Heather on 9451 4241.