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Creating ‘Coffersation’ and connections in Beenleigh

Local Beenleigh women enjoy the company at Women’s Lunch Out.

Building relationships is paying off with increased participation in corps activities, and a sense of belonging and purpose, according to Major Heather McKeown, Corps Officer at Beenleigh, south of Brisbane.

“After COVID, we wanted to offer something to help people feel included,” Heather said. “People want to be involved and have done so.”

The corps and the local Salvo Stores have collaborated to create several connection points for corps members and the community.

Once a month, a sausage sizzle provides a treat of food and chat time. Heather told the story of one person who attended the event for the first time and immediately asked to be involved. Another person dropped by the store the following Monday to donate food and discuss his situation.

The monthly sausage sizzle at the Beenleigh Salvo Stores complex.

‘Coffersation’ occurs every Thursday at the Salvo Stores centre in Beenleigh, which now attracts a regular clientele who enjoy a coffee and chat with store volunteers and corps members. “Our connection with the store is really building some strong relationships with each other and the community,” Heather said.

A local couple came to the corps at Easter enquiring about social events to provide connection and a respite from home duties. Lesley was invited to Women’s Lunch Out, a social gathering every six weeks. She now coordinates this activity for a mixture of corps and community women.

“There are only a few of us in the corps, so it can be a bit of a slog sometimes, but seeing how people feel connected and wanting to help out is a real lift,” Heather said.


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