As a volunteer involved in Yooralla, Leongatha I was devastated by the abuse caused to clients at other sites of the Yooralla organisation.
I decided to write this letter after receiving a letter from Yooralla’s head office which stated “the media reports have re-visited past issues of abuse and is deeply distressing to many people”.
Surely if they had handled the situation appropriately in the past there would not have been a media report.
My experience of Yooralla, Leongatha has been totally rewarding and enjoyable. I catch up with the participants and staff regularly.
The enthusiasm of the staff and participants emanates throughout their busy office where participants are trained to their abilities for employment or to be part of our community.
The happy and busy environment could not be more different from the sad and upsetting reports in the media.
Yooralla, Leongatha run a successful catering business and each participant has a professional program of work to aim for throughout the year.
In the six years of my involvement, the participants have gone from strength to strength often in the face of ever decreasing funding from the Yooralla head office.
This has meant the local office works without admin support even though when funds raised by the local office go into the overall coffers, a chunk is taken for their administration.
This year there is no money from head office for a Christmas Party even though we see this as vital not only for participants, families, volunteers and staff but also to thank the community that has supported us throughout the year.
As a fundraiser and volunteer I was upset to find out that head office does not see these gatherings as important as we do.
Community members who would like to visit Yooralla, Leongatha can book in to the community cafes which are on a couple of times a month, so come meet these wonderful young people of Yooralla, Leongatha.
Janne McPhie, Yooralla volunteer, Bennison.