Breaking down barriers


Assisting Your Life to Achieve founder Scott Johnson. Picture: Will Russell    d454068
Assisting Your Life to Achieve founder Scott Johnson. Picture: Will Russell d454068

IF there is one thing Scott Johnson knows from his time as director of not-for-profit Assisting Your Life to Achieve Inc (AYLA), it is that people can fall on hard times at any moment.

From families whose main bread winner has been injured and can no longer work, to women who have left abusive relationships, Mr Johnson and his band of dedicated volunteers have seen it all.

“There is no set of criteria for the people we help,” he said.

“We’ve been to a house where a woman and two children only had two pillows and a blanket.

“Just this week we were able to give a mobility scooter to a 101-year-old Melville woman. We’re here to assist and understand people.

“People will overcome the barriers in their life. We want to empower them to believe that and get back on their feet.”

After helping to set up schools overseas, AYLA began focusing on issues in Perth five years ago.

These days more than 50 volunteers contribute to keeping AYLA operational, but recent demand for food is stretching its resources.

Last week it had to stop some food hampers and turn desperate clients away.

“This is gut-wrenching for us to do but we have no choice,” Mr Johnson said.

Like many community service groups at this time of year, the call has been made for donations.

That includes spare food, food vouchers and clothes.

Mr Johnson was confident donations would pick up, but was keen to see that happen sooner rather than later with so many locals relying on the service.

“The incredible thing about the people we help is that they often return the favour when they can, either by making donations or volunteering their time,” Mr Johnson said.

To learn more or donate, visit Assisting Your Life to Achieve on Facebook.