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The dedicated team of volunteers at the Australian Community Care Network (ACCN) Grafton base are now taking orders for Christmas dinners, including Primo hams and Steggles Turkeys, to help spread the spirit of Christmas and help those in need provide for their families during the festive season. Image: Emma Pritchard.

ACCN blessed to be part of the community as Christmas approaches

Emma Pritchard

 It isn’t just about operating as a low-cost food store.
And it isn’t just about selling quality fresh produce and reputable brands at affordable prices for members of the Clarence Valley community on low income or experiencing difficult situations and hardship.
It isn’t just about offering complimentary cups of tea and coffee either.
At the Australian Community Care Network (ACCN) Grafton base, it’s about being part of the community, for the community.
And in the three months since the centre opened, it has made a wonderful difference to the lives of many locals in need.
Describing the ACCN Grafton base as a blessing, manager Alison Tomlinson recalls a young man with broken dreams who recently came into the centre, sat down at a table and spoke about his struggles with her and the other volunteers.
He was listened to.
He was told things would get better, he was told to believe in himself and he was told there will always be someone who cares at the centre.
Since then, the young man has found employment in the local area and is rebuilding his future.
“It feels good, it’s a blessing to help people,” Ms Tomlinson said graciously.
“That’s why we’re here.
“We see a lot of people who have been through and who are going through rough patches and it’s just so great that we can offer them a place to come to because we’re not just a low-cost food store.
“We’re here for the community because there are a lot of people who need support and we want to inspire them, help them and tell them things will get better.”
Along with offering a safe and supportive environment, The ACCN Grafton base has also recently started selling second hand furniture including lounge sets, shelves and cabinets.
Quality, second hand bric-a-brac items are also available at low prices.
As Christmas approaches, the ACCN Grafton base is spreading the festive spirit and offering members of the community on low income a fantastic opportunity to place an order for delicious Primo hams from $9 per kilo and succulent Steggles Turkeys from $5.50 per kilo.
Mince and sausages from Australian producer Fieldmount Meats are also available for $10 per kilo.
To make Christmas 2020 an extra special occasion for those in need, the centre has also set up a donation box alongside their Christmas tree and are encouraging the community to give generously to help the less fortunate during one of the most celebrated occasions of the year.
“It’s all about helping people who need help,” Ms Tomlinson said.
“And that’s a real blessing.”
The ACCN Grafton base is located at 117 Fitzroy Street and is open between 9am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Ms Tomlinson said the centre is also on the lookout for corporate sponsorship and more volunteers.

Anyone interested is encouraged to call 66 441 369.