Lou's Place Community Centre
(Community Recognition Statement, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament Sydney)
I acknowledge the fantastic work of Lou's Place, a drop-in centre in Potts Point for women in crisis that was established by the Marmalade Foundation in 1999. With more than 50 volunteers, Lou's Place provides a safe and supportive environment for women experiencing homelessness, mental and physical health concerns and violence or abuse who may not have family or friends.
Lou's Place provides practical help such as washing facilities, meals and clothing as well as counselling and legal aid. Once urgent needs have been met, women are offered activities such as cooking, sewing, painting and jewellery making. Workers focus on helping the women get back on their feet. I acknowledge Deborah Banks, the executive manager since 2009; Melanie Joyce, a drug, alcohol and mental health worker; caseworker Theresa Desmond, who works with domestic violence survivors; and volunteer hairdresser Bernadette Talbot. I commend all those involved with Lou's Place, which provides vital support to women with complex needs who are facing dire circumstances and need a helping hand.