It Feels Good To Give. [Photo credit Abigail Keenan,]

100 year-old Alma’s surprise reunification with family

Disclaimer: If you haven’t already read the first part to this story, “Alma turns 100”, take a quick look here before reading this follow up article.

It was Friday, August 7, 2020 as Phil was finishing up his last day of work at the State Coroner’s office in his role as a psychologist, when his wife sent him a text: “How old would your aunty Alma be if she were alive?” It was a quick calculation for Phil as he remembered she was born in 1920, so he simply responded: “100”. The following response from his wife was one that would begin to unravel 50 year-old questions that have gone unanswered: “I think I’ve found your aunty.”

In August 2020, St Bart’s ran a story in its Community e-newsletter celebrating one of its Home Care clients, Alma, turning 100. That e-newsletter serendipitously landed in the inbox of Phil’s wife who works with the Anglican Church.

Click here to read how this amazing turn of events resulted in an incredible reunion for Alma and her family.

A note from our CEO 

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling as though Christmas has come around a little faster than usual this year. It could be because I have been busy getting to know every facet of St Bart’s since I joined the organisation in January, but my suspicion is that it is largely due to the whirlwind of emotion, intensity and what felt like a complete lapse in time as we wait out the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Here at St Bart’s we are at the forefront of seeing how Christmas can look very different for the men, women and families in our services. In what is very often a tough time for the people we support, Christmas can highlight a lack of connection to family, which is why we continue to do all we can to make it a little more cheerier than it might otherwise be.

You’ll soon see the launch of our Christmas Appeal to raise money to help us to continue to provide our services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. One of our most important services, the Women’s Service, which is a temporary home to 20 women at a time while we support them to make the next step into their own home in the community, relies on the generosity of donors. With the economic consequences of COVID-19 hitting women the hardest in terms of job losses, this service is needed more than ever.

The accompanying story to our Christmas Appeal is centred around a mother and a daughter in our Family Service who have kindly agreed to share their journey with the St Bart’s community.

We are also running our annual Christmas Hamper Appeal where we welcome donated goods for the 500 residents in our services. More often than not, these hampers are the only gift the people we support receive at Christmas. But more importantly, it’s a reminder to them that they are further supported in a wider community that cares about them. You can view the list of requested items for the hampers by clicking here.

In other news, our 2019/20 Annual Report is hot off the press and features some wonderful stories on our staff, volunteers and clients, as well as our partnerships and supporters.

I’d also like to formally congratulate Basil Zempilas on being elected the new City of Perth Lord Mayor. We were delighted to have been able to provide Basil and his wife Amy with a tour of our services during the early stages of his campaign and look forward to seeing his pledge to address homelessness come to fruition.

I hope you enjoy the latest edition of St Bart’s news, and sincerely thank you for your ongoing support.

Samantha Drury
St Bart's CEO   

Annual Report 2020

We were pleased to present the St Bart’s 2020 Annual Report at our AGM on October 28 alongside representatives from Anglicare WA and Amana Living.
Click here for a digital version of the Annual Report that you can download. If you’d like a hard copy, simply email us at with your name and address.

Dawesville quiltmaker brings joy to those in need

There are many things that make a house feel like a home, but a handmade quilt really has a special quality. The gorgeous quilt on Priscilla's couch, pictured here, features a graphic design using a limited palette of reds, greys and dark blue and was gifted to her by Dawesville local Bev.
Having made many quilts for her family and friends, Bev was very happy that she could contribute towards making some of our St Bart's residents feel comfort as they move on to live independently.

The quilts all differ in both design and colour palette, as shown below. 
Native Flora consists of hand dyed fabric to evoke the sun-bleached leaves and vibrant flowers found in our indigenous native plants, with the message being that a sense of place is extremely important for those who have lost links with family and community.

Aquatic uses aquatic motifs and buttons for bubbles that recalls calming memories of the seaside. This quilt was donated to Ollie, pictured here with her daughter, when she recently moved on from our Women's Service and into her own home.
A story on this beautiful quilt donation recently featured in the Mandurah Mail, which you can read here.

After a year of commitment and persistence, Priscilla is now settling into her own home and has plenty to celebrate.
She joined St Bart’s five months ago after spending six months at Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre. Priscilla was accepted into our Women’s Service the same day she was interviewed. Celebrating her 50th birthday in October, it’s been a long road to her recovery.

Priscilla’s story is a true inspiration, and we’re honoured that she has shared it with us. You can read the full story here.

Mental Health Week 2020

Mental health is something we place huge emphasis on here at St Bart’s for both residents and staff, so it was great to see the number of activities taking place across our sites throughout Mental Health Week. 
Lime Street guest speaker 
We were incredibly grateful to Paris Mitchell for sharing his story on overcoming addiction and mental health challenges with residents, staff and volunteers before a BBQ lunch. Paris’ inspirational and brutally honest talk resonated with everyone and we hope he continues to inspire others to realise their full potential. 
His main message was to take little steps everyday on the recovery journey. For Paris, he replaced medication with meditation, lots of exercise and the help of supportive people. 

High Tea
Two St Bart’s residents and a staff member accepted the invitation to attend a beautiful afternoon celebration on Saturday 17 October as part of the WA Association for Mental Health’s High Tea closing ceremony at Pagoda Ballroom.
Additional activities across our Community Recovery Villages:
  • Crazy socks day
  • Bacon & egg rolls
  • Hamburgers and salad
  • Garden planting
  • Rainbow damper cooking
  • Movie night
  • Sport day

St Bart’s giving community

The generosity of our giving community never ceases to amaze us, particularly throughout 2020 and all of the curveballs it has thrown. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!

The legends at Aurecon donated a massive 300 t-shirts and coffee mugs that will help to fill up the Christmas hampers for our residents!

We're extremely grateful to the Morawa-Perenjori parishioners for generously donating a variety of non-perishable food items for our clients and residents as part of their Harvest Thanksgiving Service. A big thank you to Rev Raymond and his wife Betty-Lou who drove the 350kms from Morawa to Perth to collect and drop off the goods.

The wonderful Claire here has been compiling and sending toilet bags to men in need for 10 years. Residing at Perth lifestyle village Bethanie on the Park, Claire has coordinated donations from many of the ladies at the village, while her friend Marj has sewn an incredible 112 bags and helped pack them for St Bart's. 
“It’s such a pleasure to help and I look forward to outdoing our 112 bags next Christmas,” Claire said.
Amongst the donation was a box of gorgeous hand-knitted teddy bears.

We were first introduced to Maureen through a Hale School staff member who has helped us coordinate some fantastic volunteer opportunities. Maureen has been working on embroidering the names of the men in our transitional accommodation onto hand towels. A personalised gift like this is something so unexpected yet treasured by the men in our service. 

Hard at work! This fantastic youth group from the Anglican Parish of Carine Duncraig got busy making blankets for St Bart’s residents. Colourful, fun and with clever tasseled edges, they’re sure to brighten up a few of our residents rooms here! 

This gorgeous 100 year-old piano originally belonged to Robyn’s grandmother. After telling her neighbour, a parishioner, that she was looking to rehome it, our Chaplain was contacted and we’re happy to say it now resides happily at our Swan Community Recovery Village! 
“I’m really glad my grandmother’s piano has found a good home,” Robyn said.

Vollies out and about

This team know how to have a few laughs while getting down to business! Our Consumer Volunteer Program is gaining momentum, with three St Bart’s residents here teaming up with three of our community volunteers in a gardening blitz at our Bentley service.
Encouraging our residents to get involved in volunteer activities not only keeps them active and engaged, it also helps with their resume.
"It was really nice to be outside, active, and I loved being a part of a team to give back," said one resident volunteer.

Meanwhile, residents Paul, Athol and Johnno, along with community volunteer Mark, have been putting in the hard yards cleaning up the courtyard at St Bart’s Brown Street premises ahead of our end of year celebratory BBQ to thank our amazing team of volunteers. 

We went back to school! Well, at least some of our resident volunteers did when they visited Hale School and had some serious fun in the virtual reality lab. From fishing and shooting off into space to hot air ballooning and a trip to Dubai to see the world’s tallest building, it was an awesome experience!

Staff spotlight

Just like his poses, our Volunteer Coordinator Warren never ceases to make us laugh! So of course we wanted to ask him a few questions...

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
When I was born 55 years ago, I was delivered in the middle of the Nullarbor Plain by the Flying Doctor. My dad was a Locomotive driver with Aust National Railways and back in the mid-sixties wives accompanied Loco drivers on long hauls. As usual I was overly inquisitive and arrived a smidge early.

If you could swap places with someone for a day, who would it be?
Jeff Bezos, I reckon I could wreak havoc with his 200-billion-dollar bank account. Imagine how many lives you could brighten with that kind of disposable windfall!

What have you learnt from working at St Bart’s?
I have learnt that we have some amazing front line staff that do some fantastic work. I am inspired by our volunteers who are driven by their hearts to be a part of what we do. I have learnt that a lot of my previous employment seems so unimportant when I compare the value of what we are able to do at St Bart’s.

Charity Logo Facebook      Instagram        LinkedIn    

Would you like to forward this email to a friend? Click here.
Remove my name from all future mass email communications:

Address postal inquiries to:
St Bart's
7 Lime Street
East Perth WA 6004