This May, Bayside Centre joined forces with key retailers, contractors and suppliers to deliver an extremely successful campaign, with well over $20,000 in much-needed funds raised for local charity, Community Support Frankston (CSF).
The aptly named -Creating Change' initiative was designed to shift public perception and tackle the stigma associated with homelessness.
Shining the spotlight on what has become a growing issue within the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula community, the three-week campaign invited Bayside shoppers to visit -Creating Change Thought Pods' located in-centre. Here they were provided with a unique opportunity to hear stories from locals about what it's like to experience homelessness, at the same time gaining valuable insight into the challenges and hardships faced by homeless people, and also their hopes and dreams for breaking the cycle.
Says CSF Manager, Steve Phillips. 'The Creating Change campaign message of -Homeless not hopeless' is a really important one. We hope the Pods – which revealed the real life stories of ordinary people in Frankston struggling through complex hardship – managed to capture the hearts and minds of those who listened to them. Many of the people that come to CSF for help don't identify as hopeless, and not all homeless people are sleeping rough. Plus there are so many others in Frankston just managing to keep a roof over their heads, but who are at a breaking point."
Throughout the campaign, customers were also encouraged to make a paper cranes as a show of support for -Creating Change', with Bayside agreeing to donate $1.00 for every crane made. Over 750 paper cranes have been produced so far, including 100 made by students from Frankston Primary School, along with further contributions collected at the Centre's donation point.
Creating Change has also seen a number of local businesses rally behind Bayside's initiative.
HOYTS' charity screening of latest Hollywood blockbuster, Snatched, was sold out, with the proceeds raised from over 170 ticket sales going directly to Community Support. Likewise, a charity luncheon held at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery featured guest speaker and Mornington local, Stacey Currie, was also fully subscribed, with over 80 guests flocking to hear the Telstra Women in Business Award nominee talk about her own firsthand experiences of homelessness.
At the luncheon, Vicinity Centres announced a $5,000 grant for Community Support in the area of disadvantaged youth, with centre suppliers, Secure Corp, Airmaster and Dot Dot Dash, donating a further $5,200 and $1,500 respectively.
But even though the Creating Change campaign has now drawn to a close, Bayside is confident the total amount raised will increase even further thanks to generous pledges from several other businesses still to come including The Frankston office of Harcourts Central Real Estate who also pledged $100 from the proceeds of every house sold between 8 May and 30 June to the charity.
Commenting on the success of the Creating Change initiative, Bayside Centre Manager, Gabe North-Harney says, 'We are beyond pleased at the unprecedented support that our shoppers, retailers and suppliers, and indeed the broader Frankston community, has shown for this campaign.
'The initiative is consistent with Bayside's commitment to supporting the local community, which isall about making a difference – particularly in the area of disadvantaged youth. As one of the community's biggest stakeholders we are delighted to have been able to bring this issue to the fore and show people that it is indeed, possible to make a difference."
She was also quick to praise City of Frankston Mayor Brian Cunial and CEO Denis Hovenden.
'They have been instrumental in encouraging local businesses and members of the broader community to give generously to this appeal, and we are really grateful to them for providing such positive support for the Creating Change initiative."
Steve Phillips is also delighted at the success of the campaign. 'CSF assists people with everything from emergency housing, food, and grocery vouchers to pathways to education, information, advice and skills, and is often the first point of contact for many local people and families in crisis. For this reason, we're very grateful for the support from Bayside Centre, and know the money raised will
really help CSF to make a difference in the lives of those who are falling on tough times and who are often at a breaking point."