Rockingham SOUL sisters win Rockingham Community Citizens of the Year award

Patricia Powell and Eileen Giles.
Patricia Powell and Eileen Giles.

WORKING away in the background is where two Rockingham twins who devote their lives to helping the homeless prefer to stay.

Not so however on Australia Day when they were awarded the 2018 Community Citizens of the Year for Rockingham.

Patricia Powell and Eileen Giles began the Servants of United Love (SOUL) Soup Patrol in 2008 and the award is the perfect way to kick off the group’s 10th anniversary.

Ms Powell said they mainly help women who are pregnant and become homeless.

“Some of these young women may have come over on a student visa and have no family to return home too,” she said.

“It is getting harder, more families are struggling.”

Ms Giles said they founded the soup kitchen together.

“The decision making is always joint and much came from our faith which is very important to us,” she said.

“We teach girls how to do things economically, basic life skills they were never taught because they did not grow up in a good family environment.

“It is lovely to see them blossom from those learnings.”

The mirror image twins were surprised to receive the award.

“We knew we were nominated but we certainly didn’t go along to the ceremony with any expectations,” they said.

“It’s not about us, we spearhead the organisation but it’s our volunteers who do all the hard work – there are about 50 of them.”

The modest pair said they were honoured to receive the award.

“It’s nice to have the support of your local council,” they said.

“The people of Rockingham are so generous and the businesses are so supportive.

“We are a family to these people and it’s about showing love to those who need it the most.”

The other recipients were Youth Community Citizen of the Year – Aidan Blackshaw, Senior Community Citizen of the Year Peter Philipps and Community Group/Event of the Year Baldivis Lions Club with their Baldivis Community Market.