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Who is making a difference in your community?

The Department of Health and Human Services is calling for nominations for the Frances Penington and the Molly Hadfield Awards for 2018.

In every community, there are individuals and groups who embody community spirit and are dedicated to making a positive impact in their local communities. The awards aim to recognise and thank individuals and community groups for making that positive difference.

These awards are in honour of two remarkable women, Frances Penington and Molly Hadfield, who were dedicated to advocating for living in housing estates and encouraging community involvement.

The Frances Penington Award recognises an individual, living in public or community housing, or a group of tenants, who are making an outstanding voluntary contribution. The Molly Hadfield Award honours the achievements of an individual living in public or community housing, or group of tenants, who are having a positive effect on the lives of older tenants.

The winner of the Frances Penington Award for 2017 was the Ashburton, Ashwood and Chadstone Public Tenant Group who advocate strongly for local tenants, organise forums and information sessions and discuss issues within their community. Through this group, the ‘Public and Proud’ event was established to celebrate their community through food, entertainment and socialising. Overall, the group has created a strong sense of pride within the residents of these communities.

Merri Outreach Support Service Food Bank volunteer group were the winners of the 2017 Molly Hadfield Award. The group, made up of 15 retired public housing residents in Brunswick, oversees the collection and distribution of food parcels for families and older people who struggle with the cost of living and having food on the table. The food parcels can include fresh vegetables and fruit, bread, nappies and baby formula.

People can nominate an individual or a community group to be recognised for their efforts and community spirit by going to Social Housing Volunteer Awards. Entries close 30 November.

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