Can Assist branches from across the Riverina gathered in Narrandera last Wednesday for a meeting with the NSW state body.
Fourteen branches of Can Assist were present to discuss the future of the organisation and come up with ideas on how to survive into the future.
Ideas such as succession planning and how to attract younger members into the organisations were floated amongst the network.
Can Assist CEO Janice Scelzo said the many branches of Can Assist all described high levels of community support received from their own communities.
“It came up again and again,” Ms Scelzo said.
“The reason our community supports us is because the money doesn’t leave the town. In most other organisations, the money goes into a pool and is then redistributed. With us, the NSW body doesn’t touch the branch money.”
The different branches each discussed some of their fundraising initiatives and the community support that they had received.
Narrandera’s branch of Can Assist received, in the last 12 months, support from local pharmacies, the Header Drivers Convention, Bidgee Boxing, the Narrandera Open Gardens, the Narrandera Farmers Markets, the Earlies Rod Run, the Bendigo Bank and many other local businesses and individuals.
Ardlethan shared their accomplishments, as they had found the local schools to be a great source of support. They also host an annual B&S Ball which enables them to bring more young people on board.
West Wyalong hosts a yearly “Sore Butts Ride” as a way for them to attract young people to volunteer.
While these discussion points were raised, Ms Scelzo said the main focus of the meeting was to offer the regional branches a chance to meet the board of Can Assist.
“I’m lucky that the Board are the sort of people who like to talk. I can just introduce them and then get out of their way.”
Ms Scelzo said it was a fantastic day to touch base with some of the many branches of Can Assist.
“We have 55 towns and we’ve been going for 63 years now. There’s 55 branches, but that’s not including Sydney.
“For any town that doesn’t have a branch, Sydney steps in and we help out where we can.
“I’ve worked for a lot of not-for-profit organisations and this is the most genuine. It’s so transparent,” Ms Scelzo said.
Amendment May 10, 2018:
The Ardlethan Branch of Can Assist has been fortunate in the past to be the recipient of donations from the Ariah Park B&S Ball, and has also been supported by the local community as well. The branch wishes to express how grateful they are to have the support and goodwill of their local community.
The Argus wishes to apologise for any confusion or misunderstanding we may have caused.