A service set up by a group of volunteers for the Hills community is celebrating 50 years of making a difference.

At Hills Community Aid’s recent AGM and birthday party Hills Shire Mayor and Patron of HCA Michelle Byrne told attendees it was one of the most “crucial services” in the hills.

“Without this service there would be a huge gap and people would fall through the cracks,” she said.

While the service opened its doors at the end of 1969 it had taken several years of lobbying to get the service, originally called Neighbourhood Aid, up and running.

Baulkham Hills mum Mary Lane was worried about the social isolation of people living in growing Hills area and started lobbying church and service organisations to find a solution and a community committee was formed.

At the time Baulkham Hills Council, as it was then called, had employed a social worker who worked alongside the committee to get the service up and running with the help of about 60 volunteers.

Volunteers are still at the heart of Hills Community Aid which has over 130 volunteers today.

Major programs include Learning in the Hills (established in 1984), the Community Bus program (1989) CarPal (2013) No Interest Loan Scheme and the Hills Daily Grind, social enterprise coffee van (2015)

To date Hills Daily grind has given out 1708 Kindness cups and trained 106 people.

Last financial year 1709 people were assisted through HCA’s Financial Inclusion programs.

In the past year LITH has delivered 1489 classes.

Mici Beer Executive officer and programs director said: “The core of Hills Community Aid is our ability to continually innovate our programs and services to support and strengthen our community, it is this ability and the passion of our workers and volunteers that will see us continue our evolvement for another 50 years.

McArdles Tree Services