Santa’s Workshop still on the lookout for new home, funding

L-R: Pablo Manalac (Liaison Officer and Vice President of the new Santa’s Workshop) and Jimmy Babaeff (Workshop Supervisor). Picture: David Baylis
L-R: Pablo Manalac (Liaison Officer and Vice President of the new Santa’s Workshop) and Jimmy Babaeff (Workshop Supervisor). Picture: David Baylis

THE uncertainty clouding the future of not-for-profit group Santa’s Workshop has continued into 2019, despite the organisation recently receiving charity status.

While the group just celebrated 20 years of recycling and building toys for disadvantaged children, their future is murkier, with no funding or home on the horizon.

Despite recently receiving charity status and obtaining deductible gift recipient status from the Australian Tax Office, the group’s president Martin Dorman said he feared for their future.

“There are nights I lie in bed thinking, it might not succeed, it might all fold up and I’m really sad about that,” he said.

“But I’m going to keep going as long as I possibly can, until there’s no work left.”

Santa’s Workshop told Canning Times in September they were worried the Christmas just gone would be their last after its funding was cut by welfare group Outcare, which had its own funding cut last year.

The financial loss and arrangement with Outcare meant the group also lost its headquarters at Sevenoaks Senior College in December.

Last Christmas, the workshop supplied 2700 gift packages to children and Mr Dorman said they desperately wanted to continue spreading Christmas cheer.

“I’ve had a lot of people replying to us on our Facebook page and I’ve been going round, collecting toys from all over the metropolitan area,” he said.

Mr Dorman said they were desperately seeking a permanent home and urged anyone with an unused workshop-size space to get in touch.

“Once we get a home, we can go to Lotterywest and ask for money for building a premises,” he said.

“We can’t actually do that now because all the foundations I’ve been looking at won’t give you money if you don’t have a premises.”

In the meantime, the workshop has set up a Go Fund Me page (https://www.gofundme.com/save-our-santa039s/donate) and a Bendigo Bank account which will be used solely for donations, which can be found at http://www.santaswa.com/.

Any money donated over $2 can be claimed back on tax.

Anyone able to offer premises can email santaswa@hotmail.com.