Jade’s community award

Jade Bradley with State MP Richard Wynne. Photo: contributed

A Wurruk Community House volunteer Jade Bradley was awarded the prestigious 2021 Victorian Social Housing – Frances Penington Volunteer Award on Thursday, May 5, at an award ceremony held at Victoria Parliament House.

The Victorian Social Housing Frances Penington Award honours the late Frances Penington, who as the Commissioner of the Housing Commission was a strong advocate and supporter for community participation in community housing.

She was also a pioneer as the first woman appointed to a statutory authority board in Victoria.

This state-wide award has run for 23 years, and recognises outstanding contributions of a volunteer in Victorian social housing.

Ms Bradley was nominated for her invaluable work with the delivery of the original ‘Wurruk Community House Foodbank Outreach Program’ in the first year of COVID.

Then last year, when the community demand outstripped capacity with the outreach program, and new charitable status, Ms Bradley worked tirelessly setting up in-house delivery of the Wurruk Food Pantry, which was achieved in record time.

The Wurruk Food Pantry is a vital service, delivering much needed food relief for the community of Wurruk, as well as a way for many community members to connect with their community house and other community members.

Receiving this prestigious award acknowledges and recognises Ms Bradley’s fabulous contribution to Wurruk Community House.

Ms Bradley told the Gippsland Times she was very excited to receive the award.

“It was a wonderful surprise when Sarah, the manager of Wurruk Community House, nominated me for this award. And then to be shortlisted and invited to the Award ceremony at Parliament House, which was something I never dreamt of doing,” Ms Bradley said.

“Sitting in the audience and hearing my named called as the overall winner, I am still getting over the shock. I feel proud and honoured to receive it, as there was a great group of nominees.

“Wurruk Community House has developed and delivered a number of programs for the community, which includes the Wurruk Food Pantry for which I received this award, the Wurruk Community Garden that has been developed with horticultural students from the local TAFE, and the Play, Learn, Share after-school program for our primary school children.

“We are a small house, with only one main room, and we do talk about growing pains, and how we need more space to run new programs for our community. We are now planning how we can raise funds to build a dedicated food pantry area, which will free up more space to expand and run other programs for our community,” she said.

Jade Bradley celebrating her achievement. Photos: Contributed