St Patrick’s Community Centre launches Winter Appeal


Saint Patrick’s Community Support Centre client Patrick Ryder. Picture: Martin Kennealey.
Saint Patrick’s Community Support Centre client Patrick Ryder. Picture: Martin Kennealey.

WINTERS have been tough for Patrick Ryder– from sleeping in front of vacant buildings to having his belongings confiscated.

St Patricks Community Centre is trying to help people like Mr Ryder with their Winter Appeal which will be held until July 31.

Mr Ryder said he had been working with St Pat’s home crew to find a place to live.

“Sometimes I’ll sleep at friends’ houses couch-surfing and I spent a fair bit of time sleeping in the car when I had one,” he said.

“The other day I had all my stuff, including my medication, in a shopping trolley, but the rangers confiscated it while I was getting a coffee.

“I admit I’ve had problems over the years with drinking and so on but everyone deserves a second chance.”

Mr Ryder said he got good news this winter, because he was moving into a one bedroom apartment in North Fremantle.

“I’ve been on the Homewest waiting list for about eight years,” he said.

“This news is going to be great for me, I’ll finally have my own base and can really sort stuff out for myself.

“I’m also hoping for a fridge for my new place.”

Worker Nicki Kefford said it was the hardest time of year for St Pat’s clients.

“St. Pat’s Winter Appeal is designed to raise as much money as we can so we can offer more assistance to more people in need,” she said.

“In Patrick’s case, this is helping him find stable accommodation, but for others it might be providing free healthcare, arranging counselling or other help with mental health issues, or simply providing a safe, warm place for people to come to.”

Ms Kefford said she sees the impact of fundraising everyday, she hopes to raise more than last years $10,000.

“Whether it’s being able to offer more people a voucher for groceries or being able to assist more people into an apartment to get them off the streets in winter,” she said.

“In the winter we have a particular emphasis on health as winter is a very difficult time for people with chronic health issues, which many of our clients have.”

To donate to the St Pat’s winter appeal head to www.stpats.com.au/donate.