The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has launched a new agency to support the disadvantaged and marginalised in the region, Aurora magazine reports.
The Development and Relief Agency (DARA) aims to act as a public benevolent institution for the relief of suffering, distress, alienation, helplessness and social disadvantage. The agency supports people who are disadvantaged, marginalised, oppressed or isolated by cultural, ethnic or religious differences by providing practical assistance, an opportunity for socialisation and a pathway to independence.
Working under the auspices of Business and Community Engagement, DARA complements established diocesan ministries including social justice, hospital chaplaincy, grief support and youth. The agency will initial support people through DARA’s Van (previously Community Care Van) and Refugee Hub (previously Refugee Service).
DARA’s Van provides hospitality and friendship to the homeless, socially isolated, financially stressed and all who are vulnerable. Offering food and refreshments, DARA’s Van engages directly with people who may require support and assistance, as well as access to information and other services.
Operated by dedicated volunteer teams, DARA’s Van supports over 60 people each Saturday across a number of events throughout the region. As principal local partner of Orange Sky Laundry in the Newcastle region, DARA’s Van also offers mobile hospitality and support as well as laundry facilities five nights a week throughout Newcastle and the Hunter.
The Refugee Hub plays an integral role in the settlement of refugees in the diocese. By working collaboratively with other service providers, Refugee Hub supports refugees on their way to independence.
Diocese launches new Development and Relief Agency (Aurora Magazine)