Tonights speaker was Jodie Burns from “Big Group Hug”.

Big Group Hug was formed in a lounge room about 4 years ago after a high chair was left on the nature strip. Angela Woods from Big Group Hug cleaned it and asked the local Maternal Health Centre if they could use it. This started a project that now are assisting Families in need with over 400 requests a month, packing over 6000 items by volunteers working over 400 hours delivering these items to the mothers in need through Maternal and Child Health Workers and other community welfare agencies.

Jodie Burns Big Group Hug2They pride themselves on being independent and resourceful with a unique ability to coordinate and mobilise a community response to the immediate and specific material assistance requests of vulnerable children and disadvantaged families that cannot be fulfilled by existing social service providers.

Jodie is a registered nurse working at Peter Mac, and began by volunteering to help, folding baby clothes and doing whatever she could and then went on to become the operations manager, then moving to CEO.

They recently received a Banyule community volunteer award for services to the community.

They received a grant to provide bassinettes which are to be returned when they were no longer required.

The organisation have outgrown the church hall in Rosanna and now need a new larger warehouse to rent in the Banyule area. Volunteers are required for drivers to deliver items now as well. So if anyone knows anyone who is able to become a volunteer or would be able to help financially to achieve their needs of a larger building, please contact Jodie Burns at Big Group Hug or on their website http://biggrouphug.org/